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Stonyfield to Increase Buzz Around Colony Collapse Disorder in Hopes of Reducing the Sting of Honeybee Decline


September 4, 2012 - Londonderry, NH

One in every three bites of food we eat depends on the pollination work of honeybees, and a third of honeybees are dying each year. This sticky situation is a threat to global biodiversity and agriculture.

This September, through its website and collaboration with Pesticide Action Network and the National Cooperative of Grocer's Association (NCGA), Stonyfield Organic is working to raise awareness around drastically declining bee populations due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In recent years, scientists have traced honeybee decline to key factors including pathogens, habitat loss and hazardous pesticides used in conventional agriculture practices.

The world's leading organic yogurt maker is donating $10,000 to Pesticide Action Network (PAN) to support the organization's efforts to stop the vanishing of the bees. In addition, throughout September, shoppers visiting any of the NCGA 165 cooperatively owned stores can learn about the plight of the bees, and how choosing organic food, like Stonyfield products, helps reduce the use of bee-harming pesticides.

"Honeybees play a crucial role in pollinating the world's food crops, and with their decline being linked to hazardous pesticides, it's just one more reason to choose organic," says Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Co-Founder and Chairman. "Colony Collapse Disorder is a sign of broader environmental issues and should be a sounding alarm about the effects of widespread use of chemical pesticides."

Top 10 Foods That Rely on Bees for Pollination:
Honeybees give us a lot more than honey! These busy bees pollinate most fruits, many vegetables, almonds, alfalfa and many other crops that are prominent in our food system. The loss of honeybees is a direct threat to the variety and nutritional value of our food system, and the foods we love.

1. Apples
2. Almonds
3. Watermelon
4. Pumpkin
5. Squash
6. Cucumbers
7. Avocados
8. Mangos
9. Blueberries
10. Raspberries

Beyond the buzz, what can consumers do?

  • Choose food grown without pesticides that harm bees. organic food is always grown without the use of hazardous pesticides, which is one of the reasons a third of our bees are dying each year.
  • Visit PAN's website to learn more about the plight of bees and urge congress to take action.
  • Take the pledge to protect honeybees close to home at Honey Bee Haven.org and create a pesticide-free bee haven.

For more information on Colony Collapse Disorder, and Pesticide Action Network's campaign to help the honeybees, visit http://www.panna.org/bees.

About Stonyfield
Stonyfield, celebrating its 29th year, is the world's leading organic yogurt company. Its certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 200,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, drinking water and food. To help reduce climate change, Stonyfield offsets all of the CO2 emissions generated from its facility energy use. Stonyfield also donates $2 million of its yearly profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth. For more information about Stonyfield, its products and initiatives, visit www.stonyfield.com or follow Stonyfield on Twitter @Stonyfield and on Facebook www.facebook.com/StonyfieldFarm.

About PAN
Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society. More information can be found at www.panna.org.

About NCGA
National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCGA helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 128 member and associate co-ops operate 165 storefronts in 35 states with combined annual sales over $1.4 billion. NCGA is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence in recognition of the application of cooperative values and principles to drive cooperative and business success. In the 2012, cooperatives around the world will celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives. For a map of NCGA member and associate co-ops, visit www.ncga.coop. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop or www.go.coop. To learn more about the US observance of the International Year of Cooperatives, visit www.usa2012.coop.

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