Snack bar maker Kind Healthy Snacks said Tuesday it will exclusively source almonds from bee-friendly farmland by 2025.
Kind sources 1-2% of the world’s almonds, according to company statistics. Though honey bees get much of the publicity, more than 3,500 species of native bees help increase crop yields, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As part of Kind’s new initiative, the company will expect its almond suppliers to reserve 3-5% of their farmland for natural pollinator habitat to help these native bees thrive and slow the decline in populations.
The Kind Foundation will also donate $150,000 to the Williams Lab at the University of California-Davis, to help with conservation research. Kind Founder and Executive Chairman Daniel Lubetzky said he hopes making conservation a priority can start a chain reaction in the industry.
“When we started Kind, we were a little thing up the block,” Lubetzky said. We probably could not have had this type of impact.”
Daniel Kaiser, Director of Conservation Strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund, said that if there’s enough of a market signal on the importance of conservation, it could make a difference on farmers’ policies. His group will be collaborating with Kind to help give these efforts impact, he said.
“Does 2% of the entire crop in and of itself turn around an ecological disaster? That’s a stretch,” Kaiser said. “But it’s about starting that momentum to then make it a standard practice that folks are looking out for the native insect population.”