Headlined by the Almond Board of California, the new California Pollinator Coalition launched this week. Joined by the Pollinator Partnership and the California Department of Agriculture, ABC said the group will aim to upscale current efforts and develop actionable applications for growers to increase pollinator-friendly habitat and ultimately pollinator health.
The group was asked about more specifics on how the practices will be upscaled. ABC’s Chief Scientific Officer Josette Lewis said from ABC’s standpoint, it will allow for greater collaboration leading to practical solutions. “It’s a great opportunity for us to worth with new partners,” she said. “As we look to expand to native pollinator habitat, things like the Environmental Defense Fund’s recent report on managing orchards for both farm and ecological benefits is a great resource in the work we do with growers.”
Of course, funding for the effort was a question during the launch. Lewis answered looking at it from a grower’s perspective which sees increasing bee-friendly habitat as pretty costly. “Putting in pollinator habitat comes at a cost to growers,” Lewis said. “We have had a good start to growers making that investment but as some of the speakers have already mentioned…a couple of programs are really important opportunities for public co-investment along with growers that will be required to achieve success.”
Over 20 other associations and groups have already joined the coalition including the California Farm Bureau Federation, Western Growers, California Citrus Mutual and others.
Listen to Lewis’s full comment during the launch.