National Co+op Grocers and Partners Raise $64,425 for The Xerces Society’s Efforts to Support Native Pollinators

National Co+op Grocers (NCG), which Monadnock Food Co-op is a proud member of, and 36 industry partners announced a collaborative donation of $64,425 to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a Portland, Oregon-based non-profit protecting wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.

NCG and its partners’ contribution will support The Xerces Society’s ongoing bringbackthepollinatorsBring Back the Pollinators campaign, aimed at educating individuals and organizations on the four simple steps to protect pollinators and their habitats:

  1. Grow a variety of pollinator-friendly flowers;
  2. Protect and provide nesting sites and caterpillar host plants;
  3. Avoid using pesticides, especially insecticides and
  4. Talk with community members about the importance of pollinators and their habitats.

The initiative also encourages people to sign a pledge to “Bring Back the Pollinators;” offers research, in-person education courses and publications to help people create native pollinators and provides “Pollinator Habitat” signs individuals can place near their gardens to illustrate their part in protecting bee habitats.

Since 2008, in the face of rapidly declining bee populations, The Xerces Society’s overall advocacy, education and applied research has led to the creation of more than 200,000 acres of pollinator habitats on farms, ranches, gardens, airports, golf courses, parks and public lands.

“It’s such an honor to have the support of the National Co+op Grocers and its partners for ‘Bring Back the Pollinators,’ our signature pollinator conservation initiative,” said Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director, The Xerces Society. “NCG’s support will help us provide vibrant, healthy wildflower habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinators for the long term.”

NCG officially made the donation as part of its annual “Convergence” grocery and wellness conference for promotions liaisons and grocery and wellness staff, held July 28–31 in Saint Paul, Minn. This year’s theme was “People. Planet. Product.” in which co-op staff explored the environmental, social and economic challenges co-ops, farmers and manufacturers face while producing food and consumer goods for a rapidly changing world.

“The Xerces Society’s ongoing and successful efforts to protect pollinators and create wildlife habitats are the embodiment of Convergence’s focus this year on challenges to food production,” said Robynn Shrader, Chief Executive Officer, NCG. “Pollinators are necessary for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species, including more than 100 crops in the U.S. alone. Xerces’ work is essential in protecting this keystone of our food system — and we are proud to spotlight and support its work.”

To raise the overall donation, NCG made an initial $20,000 contribution and received an additional $13,175 in support from nearly three dozen manufacturers attending and/or sponsoring Convergence. United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), NCG’s largest supplier, generously donated $31,250 based on the number of product cases NCG co-ops ordered from UNFI during the Convergence vendor showcase — resulting in the total $64,425 provided to The Xerces Society.

“I am truly buzzed that NCG’s Convergence was a great success this year and am thrilled that UNFI will be donating $31,250 to The Xerces Society through the sale of 50,318 cases at the show,” said Melody Meyers, Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations, UNFI. “UNFI is proud to keep The Xerces Society humming along protecting pollinators and their habitats. It produces ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, has trained thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat and continues to raise awareness about the invertebrates of forests, prairies, deserts and oceans.”

View the industry partners.