Wimbledon and bee shock: how to use sport for NGO campaigning
WIMBLEDON 2012: STRAWBERRY PRICES WILL RISE BY 84% WITHOUT BEES – NEW RESEARCH
Wimbledon fans were today warned they would face price rises on their strawberries of 84% if bees disappeared, according to new research from Friends of the Earth.
This price increase would mean forking out a massive £4.14 for a 10-strawberry punnet at the famous tennis tournament.
A report produced by the University of Reading for Friends of the Earth also reveals that insecticide use on strawberries has risen by an incredible 295% between 2005 and 2010 increasing the risk to bees.
The new data comes from research by the University of Reading on behalf of the environment charity’s campaign The Bee Cause. In recent years many bee species have been declining, placing our food supply and economy under threat. Recent Friends of the Earth research revealed that without bees, it would cost the UK at least £1.8billion every year to hand-pollinate our crops.
Strawberries are highly reliant on bees for pollination. Good quality commercially grown strawberries require the combination of solitary bees and managed bees to pollinate the fruit. Research also suggests that pollination by bees improves the quality, taste and nutrient levels in our fruit and vegetables. 20% of the vitamin C in our diet comes from insect pollinated crops such as strawberries.
Friends of the Earth is calling on David Cameron to commit to a National Bee Action Plan and save the country billions.
Paul De Zylva, Nature Campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:
“Whether you’re a tennis fan or not, many of us are enjoying strawberries now they’re in season, but this research is a warning we must listen to.
“Without bees, we could pay a fortune for our fruit and the quality would suffer too.
“Unless we make changes to the way we farm and plan our towns and cities it will be game, set and match for bees.
“We’re calling on David Cameron to recognise the importance of bees by committing to a National Bee Action Plan.”
1. Giant bees will be at The Queue at Wimbledon on Wednesday 27 June to highlight the risk posed to strawberry prices if bee decline continues. For details of the photocall, which will take place between 8.30am and 9.30am, call the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649.
2. In the absence of bees, the farmgate price of British strawberries would increase by 84% from a 2009 price of £2.21/kg to £4.06 (DEFRA, 2011c, calculated using eq. 7 of Breeze, 2012 - Chapter 2).
3. Pollination by bees can also improve the market quality (Chagnon et al, 1993), taste (Hogendoorn et al, 2010) and nutrient profile of crops (Volz et al, 1996; Bommarco et al, 2012) and maintain genetic diversity necessary for fighting disease (Somerville et al, 1999).
4. For information on Wimbledon strawberry prices, visit http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/about_aeltc/201205091336572862135.html. A punnet of 10 strawberries at Wimbledon currently costs £2.50, but in 2009 (see reference 1) would have been £2.25.
5. Insect pollinated crops are important sources of many nutrients in human diets – without pollination the global availability of vitamin C would fall by 20%, there would be 41% less vitamin A available, 9% less calcium and 20% less fluoride (Eilers et al, 2011 – Table 1 NVap%).
6. Insecticide use on strawberries has risen by an incredible 295% between 2005 and 2010 – FERAPesticide Usage Survey 2010.
7. To read a briefing on the report by Friends of the Earth on bees, visit http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/bees_report_briefing.pdf. To read the full report visit www.foe.co.uk/beesreport.
8. The Bee Cause campaign is supporting individuals to make change in their gardens and communities to help bees, and asking the Prime Minister to commit to a National Bee Action Plan. To support the call to David Cameron and find out what else you can do to help bees, visit The Bee Cause webpage www.foe.co.uk/bees.
9. For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk.---------------- blog comments powered by Disqus