OAKLAND, Calif., April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Häagen-Dazs brand is stepping up its ongoing commitment to the Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™ program with a new sustainable agricultural program for its farmer suppliers in partnership with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. For over 40 years, the non-profit Xerces Society has worked to protect insects through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat, and in the last 20 years has built an internationally respected pollinator conservation program. Xerces also has the largest pollinator conservation team in the world.
"The Häagen-Dazs brand is recognized worldwide for its commitment to sourcing the best ingredients and crafting them into the finest ice cream available. This partnership will enable the Häagen-Dazs brand to implement a sustainable agricultural program focused on improving the health of the bee populations near the farms where our ingredients grow," says Alex Placzek, Director of the Häagen-Dazs brand. "Our farmer partners are equally interested in doing their part by installing and maintaining pollinator habitat that will have a direct impact on honey bee health and native pollinator populations."
Over the course of 2015 and 2016, the Xerces staff will work with Häagen-Dazs berry and nut farmers to develop custom farm conservation plans for each farm to include assessments of the existing pollinator habitat and opportunities for improvement; implementation plans for installing wildflower meadows, cover crops and/or hedgerows; and a pesticide risk assessment and strategies for mitigating pesticide impacts.
"We are starting with the crops where we source the most volume but will continue to build out the program after this initial start to ensure the farms that grow our ingredients are safer for bees and other pollinators," adds Placzek. "It's simply the right thing to do to ensure that bees can continue to thrive and enrich the planet."
"Partnering with Häagen-Dazs' supplier-farms to foster pollinator conservation has the potential to create a significant amount of habitat for bees and reduce pesticide impacts," says Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society. "We are excited by the opportunity offered to us by Häagen-Dazs and value the leadership they are demonstrating in sustainable management of farms."
Background: In 2007, beekeepers in the U.S. began reporting that 25 percent of the honey bee population across the country had mysteriously died; a staggering phenomenon scientists named Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Bees are responsible for pollinating more than 100 different crops, $15 billion worth annually in the U.S., including one third of all the natural foods we eat. But honey bees were dying at an alarming rate and key scientists were stumped as to the cause.
For Häagen-Dazs ice cream, the reality of this threat spurred the super-premium ice cream maker to launch its national Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees campaign in 2008 to help protect the petite pollinators. The brand uses only the finest ingredients in its recipes, such as crunchy nuts and fresh fruits and berries, all pollinated by the bees. In fact, bees are the little champions behind more than 40 percent of the Häagen-Dazs brand's ice cream flavors.
Since 2008, the Häagen-Dazs brand has donated more than $1,000,000 to fund sustainable pollination and CCD research at Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Davis.
For full details on how the Haagen-Dazs brand is helping bees and how you can take part, please visit www.Haagendazs.us You may also visit www.facebook.com/HaagenDazsUS, www.twitter.com/HaagenDazs_US, www.pinterest.com/haagendazs or watch us on YouTube at www.youtube.com/HaagenDazsUS
Crafted in 1960 by Reuben Mattus in his family's dairy, Häagen-Dazs ice cream is the original super premium ice cream. True to tradition, we are committed to using only the purest ingredients in crafting the world's finest ice cream. Truly made like no other®, today Häagen-Dazs ice cream offers a full range of products from ice cream and gelato to sorbet, frozen yogurt and frozen snacks in more than 65 flavors. Häagen-Dazs products are available around the globe for ice cream lovers to enjoy. For more information, please visit www.haagendazs.com.
The Häagen-Dazs trademark is licensed to Nestlé by General Mills. © HDIP, Inc.
About The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Protecting the Life that Sustains Us
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs worldwide. Over the last two decades, the Society has built an internationally respected pollinator conservation program that has worked with farmers on three continents. To learn more about the Society's work, please visit www.xerces.org.
SOURCE Haggen-Dazs Brand