Saving our bees

Eight of our 25 bumblebee species are threatened, with two already extinct. There’s growing scientific evidence that this is linked to certain artificial pesticides.

Riverford have been growing veg organically for over 30 years. We know there’s a better way than reaching for the chemical bottle; nature already provides the solutions.

Wildlife is up to 50% more abundant on organic farms!

Why are bees disappearing?

Intensive farming has been identified as the primary driver behind the UK’s vanishing wildlife…

Chemical warfare

Over 300 artificial pesticides can be used in non-organic farming. Every year, tens of thousands of tonnes of these chemicals are sprayed onto the British countryside to kill weeds, insects and crop diseases. They don’t just kill the target pest; many can affect other wildlife and the environment, either by direct poisoning, contaminating water supplies, or disrupting ecosystems.

Loss of habitat

As well as being threatened by harmful chemicals, bees and other pollinators have lost much of their natural habitat as the use of farmland has become more intensive.

In the past 60 years, 98% of wildflower meadows have disappeared.

It's not just bees!

In the last 10 years, 75% of the UK's butterfly species and 66% of moth species have declined - both important pollinators.

Nature not nasties

Organic farmers like Riverford control pests using naturally occurring processes, not artificial nasties.

No artificial chemicals

Organic farmers are permitted to use just 15 pesticides, all derived from natural ingredients including garlic and clove oil. These can only be used in very restricted circumstances; the majority of Soil Association-certified organic farmers use no pesticides at all.

Research suggests that if all farming in England and Wales was organic, pesticide use would drop by 98%!

Planning is everything

Meticulous planning gives our crops the best chances. We select precisely the right crops for our climate, soil and local pest populations, and choose very up-to-date varieties that have disease resistance bred into them. Sometimes the answer is as simple as planting each plant slightly further apart, so pests or diseases can’t spread.

Encouraging biodiversity

Our first line of defence against bugs is… Other bugs. There are lots of spaces for wildlife on organic farms. The green borders and thriving hedgerows around our fields provide a habitat for predators like hoverfly and ladybird larvae, who repay the favour by eating aphids off our crops.

There isn’t just 50% more plant, animal and bird life on the average organic farm – it’s made up of 30% more species.

Share this:

“When you buy organic, you’re also helping bees. Together we can keep our pollinators thriving.”

- The Soil Association

“When you buy organic, you’re also helping bees. Together we can keep our pollinators thriving.”

- The Soil Association

Choose wildlife. Choose Riverford.

Riverford have been farming organically for 30 years. Our 100% organic veg comes from fields thriving with happy birds and bugs.

Choose from a wide selection of seasonal boxes – and top up with organic dairy, drinks, store cupboard staples and more. Delivery is free; no need to be home.

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© 2019 Riverford Organic Farmers Ltd