Chippindale’s summer campaign gives bees a boost

15th September 2016

A summer conservation campaign by egg production company Chippindale Foods has boosted the number of bee habitats in the North of England and introduced more strategic monitoring of bumblebee numbers.

The campaign, which included initiatives from the farmer’s field to the supermarket shelf, led to a new bee walk training programme for farmers and their families to educate them in spotting and recording bee species on their land.

Chippindale Foods has spent the last three years working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) developing bee friendly farms to supply its Yorkshire branded free range eggs. The scheme has already created over 16 acres of bee-friendly habitat.

A publicity campaign over the summer saw the launch of new black and yellow striped shelf packaging for the firm’s bee friendly eggs, which are stocked by Co-op and Morrisons in Yorkshire.

Other initiatives included an educational ID your Bee section on the company’s website giving information to help people ID bees in their gardens or out and about. This ran alongside a competition that was promoted via social media, in pack leaflets and at the Yorkshire Bee Friendly eggs stand at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Managing director Nick Chippindale said: “Growth of the Bee Friendly Farm Scheme is an important part of our sustainability plan and promotional activity over the summer has generated interest from farmers in Yorkshire and further afield who are interested in joining the Bee Friendly Farms scheme.

“We are now well on our way to achieving our target of having 40% of free range eggs across all our brands produced by bee friendly farmers by the end of next year.”

Chippindale Foods and the BBCT set and monitor biodiversity targets for the bee friendly egg project.

Nick said: “The project takes the concept of the charity egg pack and moves it up a level, creating sustainability in the supply chain, retaining value in the market and giving conscientious consumers a product that is having a direct and positive impact on the environment.”

“The challenges facing bumblebee populations in the UK have been widely documented over the past few years and much has been done to encourage gardeners to do their bit.

“Our view is that, as food producers, we are in a great position to do this on a much wider scale, encouraging our chosen suppliers to create bee-friendly farms and giving consumers a chance to support them.”

Nick said monitoring of bee numbers and species was a crucial part of the jigsaw that had been missing until this year.

“One of the biggest achievements of this summer’s campaign has been to introduce training showing farmers and their families how to count the bees, identify different species and look out for nests.

“Our producers are helping to create wildflower meadows that can contain up to 40 species of plant per square metre.

“We are proud to be supporting farmers and their families to become bee walkers, helping to monitor the impact of the work they are doing and the response from the families involved has been fantastic.”