PROTECTING AND HELPING NATURE DOESN’T JUST STOP ON OUR FARMS – WE’VE SET OUR SIGHTS FURTHER AFIELD…
Boosting biodiversity around the world
Helping nature doesn’t just start and end at home, we know it has to be a global effort. That’s why we’re helping nature with projects in the Bolivian rainforest and Californian almond groves to help keep our world bursting with nature.
BOLIVIAN BRAZIL NUTS
Protecting the Amazon, one Brazil nut at a time
We love Brazil nuts. They go brilliantly with the crunchy golden clusters we bake, but there’s more to Brazil nuts than meets the eye. Take the fact that most of them actually come from Bolivia for a start. And that they’re wild-harvested from deep in the Amazon rainforest.
By working with CIPCA (Bolivian Centre for Research and Promotion of Small farmers’) we help support 15 communities in the Bolivian Amazon to help make sure they and the rainforest (where brazil nuts come from) are kept as healthy as possible. Creating tree nurseries, facilitating trail clean ups, health education alongside training around how to keep brazil nut trees and their forests healthy are just some of the things that we help them do. In fact, as part of this in 2019 over 37,000 seedlings were nurtured to help replenish Brazil Nut trees in the Amazon.
This all makes Brazil nuts a bit of a super-star, because by supporting Amazonian communities, we help support the case for keeping the rainforest as it is, and help to keep the Amazon bursting with brazil nuts and bursting with nature.
Vincent Vos, a local collaborator of the project, sums it up: “Currently large parts of the amazon are under severe threat of conversion to cattle ranches and agribusiness crops. As such, habitat destruction is the main cause of biodiversity loss in the region. CIPCA helps to generate economic alternatives based on the sustainable harvest of forest products including the brazil nuts, cacao and acai-berries, while also promoting the restoration of amazon forests through the implementation of agroforestry systems, that not only generate food security and income for the local families, but also help bring back biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of the Amazon."
SEEDS FOR BEES
Keeping things buzzing in California
Along with Brazil nuts, almonds are one of the nuts that we love most (and we know quite a few of you are pretty keen on them too). But almonds need a little help to get growing. According to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. That includes the almond groves of California where honeybees are vital to allow almonds to grow.
Normally, almond trees are grown in large orchards, with thousands of almonds trees blooming at once. While this sounds beautiful, just having one type of plant isn’t brilliant for nature, particularly not for the bees & other pollinators that are needed to pollinate the trees. The presence of only one type of tree means that bees have little else to eat if the almonds bloom late, and no-one wants starving bees! That’s why we work with Project Apis m. as part of their ‘Seeds for Bees’ project.
‘Seeds for Bees’ helps to keep honey bees healthy and boost the biodiversity of almond groves by planting a mixture of plants and wildflowers in amongst the almond trees. This gives bees a ‘bee buffet’ to enjoy when almond flowers are scarce. What’s good for bees is of course good for other pollinators too. The plants last well beyond the almond bloom, providing habitat and nutrition for native insects like the Western Monarch butterfly all year round. The soil health of almond farms is boosted too, as the roots of the plants improve the health of the soil, allowing precious rainwater to filter more effectively through the soil and make almond farms more sustainable. As of 2019, we’ve supported the growth of over 1,200 acres of these plants.