“The goal is to increase habitat and best Integrated Pest Management practices while supporting real benefits to the farming community and pollinators” says Laurie Davies Adams, President of Pollinator Partnership, “and it really works”.
“It’s a proven program” said Fiona Chambers, CEO of the Wheen Bee Foundation, an independent charity that has brought the BFF program to Australia. “Of the 51,000 ha BFF certified land across North America and Canada, 45,000 ha are almond orchards”.
Since 2013, the Bee Friendly Farming program has certified and recognised farmers that meet the 5 established criteria to support pollinators. These certified growers incorporate habitat and best management practices for pollinators directly into their operations and set an example, balancing agriculture and conservation to deliver improved pollination outcomes.
“The Australian Almond industry applauds the initiative” said Ross Skinner, CEO of the Australian Almond Board. “Our growers are always looking to improve the almond orchard environment to ensure honey bees can prosper during the time they spend pollinating the almond blossoms”.
“The BFF program will provide accreditation to recognise the implementation of best practices by almond growers, such as providing habitat, a diversity in floral resources for the bees’ diet and integrated pest and disease management approaches that protects bees and other beneficial insects from harm”.
ourThe BFF standards are governed by an Australian scientific taskforce that oversees the continuous improvement process and ensures the standards are suited to the Australian farming context.
The BFF logo may be applied to products coming from BFF Certified farms, providing a marketing edge that differentiates products in the consumer marketplace.
“It’s a thrill to be partnering with the Almond Board of Australia” Chambers said. “We are so excited to be certifying the first almond orchards in Australia, and are looking forward to growing this program across the full market supply chain”.
To learn more about the BFF Tree Grants on offer until 15 September or to register to become a Bee Friendly Farming certified farm visit the links below.
The Almond Board of Australia (ABA) is the peak industry body for the almond industry in Australia that facilitates the development of the industry, seeks to maximise the viability of stakeholders and ensure its sustainability.
Wheen Bee Foundation is a registered Australian charity that promotes awareness of the importance of bees for food security, biodiversity and ecosystem health and funds research and development activities that address the national and global threats to bees.