At Natural Products Expo West 2017, there was a buzz in the air. The palpable quandary was about more than just the exciting growth of the industry, what with record-breaking attendance and exhibitors filling wall-to-wall space in the convention center, Hilton and the Marriott. This year, many natural brands used their precious booth space to drive education about the plight of pollinators.
Why care about the bees? For starters, the statistics are alarming: One in every three bites of food you eat is dependent on pollinating bees, and about 75 percent of the world’s food crops and 90 percent of wild plants depend on pollinators for survival. The problem? Bees are dying at a rate of 30 percent per year due to several reasons, including mysterious colony collapse disorder, reduced sources of food and habitat, and modern-day agricultural practices. In California’s Salinas Valley, dubbed “America’s Salad Bowl,” bees are shipped in from as far as Florida, Michigan and Maine to help pollinate dependent crops, such as tree nuts, cacao, beans, avocados and nearly all fruits and vegetables. Recently, a few New Hope editors visited this part of California to learn more about the solution of planting hedgerows to reduce dependence on commercial beekeepers.
Many natural brands are learning and educating more about this topic, too, by dedicating their profits, packaging and/or their platforms to help change the trajectory of the pollinator problem. Here are six standout brands from Expo West that are doing something to help save the bees.