As a part of its landmark Healthy Bees, Happy Snackers initiative, Flagstone Foods, a premier private label manufacturer of snack nuts, trail mixes, and other nut-based snacks, has announced its commitment to promoting a more sustainable almond industry by sourcing 100 percent of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025, the first such manufacturer commitment from the private label nut industry. This pledge furthers the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing practices that protect the environment and lift up farmers and farming communities around the world.
“As North America’s leader in private label snack nuts, few buy as many almonds as we do. We believe this distinction brings with it a responsibility to cultivate a more sustainable almond industry,” says Flagstone Foods' Chief Executive Officer Robert Scalia. “We aim to work collaboratively with almond growers, processors and bee-friendly organizations through our Healthy Bees, Happy Snackers initiative, all focused on supporting the needs of the honey bee, which ultimately aids the almond industry as a whole.”
Honey bees, critical to pollinating over one-third of the U.S. food supply and directly responsible for nearly 100 percent of almonds, are disappearing at a high rate. In fact, on average 40 percent of honey bee colonies die each year due to poor nutrition, pesticides, parasites and pathogens. While California produces the vast majority of the world’s almonds on over 1.5 million acres of almond orchards, only a fraction of that acreage is currently verified as bee-friendly. In addition to its sourcing pledge, Flagstone Foods’ Healthy Bees, Happy Snackers program includes verification and certification of bee-friendly farming practices, a commitment to sustainable farming practices more broadly, and charitable contributions to Project Apis m., an organization that funds honey bee research and the expansion of pollinator habitat and forage.
“Because some of the bee-friendly farming practices are in their infancy in terms of farm adoption, we understand that sourcing bee-friendly almonds may be more difficult than through traditional sourcing practices. However, sourcing from bee-friendly farms is the right thing to do and we consider it part of our mission to help bring others along in our sustainability journey,” says Flagstone Foods’ SVP Global Procurement Scott Easterwood.