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    Ona Foods is collaborating with the Pollinator Partnership to support the Bee Friendly Farming Program, which encourages farmers to provide pollinators with a healthy living environment. 

    Pollinator Partnership (P2) is the world’s largest non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is devoted solely to protecting pollinators and their natural habitat. Businesses big and small work with P2 to promote their mission and sponsor events and programs.

    Kelly Rourke, Program Coordinator at P2, says they really enjoy working with small businesses. “It’s a great way to act locally, to get people involved and to spread the word about pollinator issues. We’re able to reach a more specific audience and it’s a group of people who might be more inclined to take action and dig deeper to learn more.”

    Ona Foods is pledging a portion of each product sold to P2, specifically the Bee Friendly Farming (BFF) Program. This program requires farmers to meet certain criteria to provide pollinators on their land with exceptional habitat. Rourke said, “There’s a certification process and it’s more involved. It encourages the use of best management practices and reducing or eliminating the use of chemicals on the land.

    In addition to chemical alternatives, farmers must use 3-6% of their land for bee foraging, provide clean water for bees, ensure a variety of flowering plants remain in bloom throughout the growing season, and provide features like hedgerows and natural brush where the bees can nest and mate.

    Ona Foods founder, Chris Feuille, wants to spread P2’s message about safe and sustainable bee farming as these have such an impact on the quality of honey produced. And honey is a key ingredient in Ona Foods. “Pollinators, especially bees, are very important to us as we sweeten our products exclusively with honey,” Feuille said. “Learning about bees, honey, and the issues involved with farming can get people to focus their energy on actually making changes and educating others. Working with Pollinator Partnership is a win-win. It touches on our connection to bees and honey.  It also allows us to educate others on the farming aspect and how much of an impact farming techniques have on bees.” Education about pollinators is the primary goal of P2 and Ona Foods involvement with the program. A bee symbol as well as the Pollinator Partnership logo will be added to the line of Ona product wrappers.

    “Putting the bee on the wrapper means we can raise awareness for P2,” Feuille said. “People have an emotional connection with bees. The human species would have a very hard time staying alive without the bees and other species of pollinators. They are a cog in the wheel of life and by putting the BFF symbol on our wrapper, we’re allowing people the opportunity to dive deeper into the issue and go down the path of knowledge where action begins.”

     

    Learn more at http://www.pollinator.org/

    Follow Pollinator Partnership on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, and Youtube.