Elgin, Minn. – Honeybear Brands is known as a leading grower, packer, shipper, and developer of premium apples and with its new 2022 Sustainability Report results, the company is positioned to be the industry leader in sustainability. The company’s year-three sustainability performance shows Honeybear Brands at more than 50% of goal for each of its key initiatives and serious about their commitment to sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
“For the past three years, we have been working hard to not only launch our aggressive sustainability initiatives, but to get significant traction and make strong gains toward our goals in the areas of pollinator protection, plastic-free packaging, zero food loss to landfills, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. We continue to hear from our stakeholders, including customers, employees, and growers that sustainability matters, and our sense of urgency continues to grow more rapidly than at any time in the past. There is much work to do by all participants in the supply chain, and we readily accept the significant challenges in front of us with an eager desire to improve.,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands.
Honeybear Brands has published its 2022 Sustainability Report which shows the company on target to reach each of its goals.
Pollinator Protection: Adopt an Acre Initiative
Honeybear Brands is 66.3% of the way to its goal of establishing 50 acres of pollinator habitats with a total of 33.15 acres, or about 25 football fields, planted. That is an impressive 50%+ increase year over year.
In recent years, parasites, pesticides, climate change and habitat destruction have led to the steep decline of pollinator populations. These pollinators, including bees, are crucial to the apple industry and are responsible for 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food.
Honeybear Brand’s Adopt an Acre program, in partnership with retailers, establishes habitats on orchards those retailers are sourcing from, supporting these pollinators and helping them to thrive naturally. By 2025, Honeybear Brands will have established 50 acres of pollinator habitat on its own source orchards.
Honeybear Brands has been investing in plastic-free packaging technology and testing new plastic alternatives. “We have a variety of plastic-free alternatives for our company branded products that we offer our customers from paper to cellulous based materials,” said Kristi Harris, Brand Manager. “Industry solutions are growing, and while most retailers rely on a plastic bag for packaged apples, we have seen an increase in paper tote business and are engaged in testing some alternative pack style with customers .”
In 2022, Honeybear Brands converted some of its branded pouches to #2 recyclable material, a transition away from a non-recyclable plastic. “There is a lot of work to be done, and we won’t solve it alone,” said Harris. “It’s a small step we can make in a better direction.” Overall, Honeybear Brands’ plastic use has decreased since 2020, from 56.8% to 46.2% of apples sold.
With 52% of fresh produce grown never being used, food loss is a significant industry issue. In 2022, Honeybear Brands diverted nearly 96% of food loss from landfills, up nearly 10% year over year and well on the way of achieving zero food loss from farm to retail by 2025.
Honeybear Brands sourced 68% of its purchased electricity at its facilities from renewable sources, with a 100% goal in 2025. Additional goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% in Honeybear Brands operations by 2029 and be carbon neutral by 2040.
Although apples have the second lowest climate impact of all food and livestock production, the lifecycle of an apple goes beyond the orchard with emissions generated through packing, storage and distribution.
To learn more about the Honeybear Brands sustainability mission, read the company’s sustainability report.
About Honeybear Brands
Family owned and operated for more than forty years, Honeybear is a dual hemisphere developer, grower, packer, shipper and importer of apples, pears and cherries year-round. A pioneer in the commercialization of Honeycrisp, the company has been an industry leader in responsible, sustainable growing practices and land stewardship for many years. Honeybear Brands is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wescott Agri Products. For more information about Honeybear, visit www.honeybearbrands.com and follow us on Facebook.
Honeybear® and TruEarth™ are trademarks of Wescott Agri Products.