Marks & Spencer backs call for UK National Bee Action plan

June 27th, 2013 by Friends of the Earth

honey bees on the inner cover of the beehive at Hansard Trust on The Grange (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

honey bees on the inner cover of the beehive at Hansard Trust on The Grange in St Peter Port (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

On 27 June 2013, Marks and Spencer called on the UK Government to create a Bee Action Plan.

The retailer joins businesses such as The Co-operative and B&Q, key scientists, 200 MPs from all parties, and tens of thousands of the British public asking for action on the issue.

The call comes ahead of a summit meeting of key stakeholders on Friday 28 June 2013, at which Environment Minister Lord de Mauley is expected to outline the UK Government’s plans to protect bees from decline.

Friends of the Earth has seen an early draft of the UK Government’s plans, and fears tomorrow’s announced proposals will be too weak.

The environment charity says urgent action is needed to reverse bee decline and protect all kinds of bees, whose numbers have declined dramatically over recent years due to disease, chemicals, loss of habitat, and poor weather.

Bees are vital for pollinating our fruit and vegetables.

Without them, it would cost more than £1.8 billion per year to pay farmers to hand-pollinate crops.

Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer, said “we need bees to produce good quality fresh produce at the right price.”

“At M&S we are already working with our own suppliers to boost bee populations.”

“But we need a comprehensive set of measures from the UK Government to ensure that there is help for bees across the countryside and in our towns and cities – that’s why we are backing the call for a National Bee Action Plan,” he said.

Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, said “with leading retailers like Marks and Spencer joining the call for a Bee Action Plan, our voice is louder than ever.”

“Bees are worth more than £1.8 billion to our economy every year – the Government cannot afford to ignore the growing momentum from businesses, scientists, beekeepers and conservation groups who recognise that the time for action is now,” he said.

“UK Ministers must give us a plan that tackles all of the causes of bee decline and keeps bees pollinating our food, gardens and countryside,” he said.


1 Response to “Marks & Spencer backs call for UK National Bee Action plan”

  1. Rachel lunn

    we need more education at grass roots level about all our insect populations. I have commented to people that we should not be cutting back the wild flowers until after they have seeded so that bees and other insects have a wide variety of food. they seem bewildered by this concept and say they have to cut back growth at this time of year. I understand that growth of branches have to be cut back to keep the lanes and roads safe, but not our wild flowers.

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