Honeybear Brands, a company that grows, packages and distributes apples in the Upper Midwest, is being recognized by the International IPM Symposium for work promoting safe, effective, sustainable pest management.
Honeybear Brands has been selected to receive an IPM Team Award for its success in implementing the TruEarth Certification program. Honeybear Brands growers adopted the standards over 10 years ago and have successfully reduced pesticide use, which has also lowered production risks related to pesticide use.
The IPM Team Awards are awarded to teams that:
• Collaborate to use IPM to reduce risks (human or animal) from pests
• Emply teamwork across stakeholder groups, pests, commodities, systems and disciplines
• Improve economic benefits related to IPM adoption
• Minimize environmental and natural resources effects
“Honeybear Brands deserves this award for setting high standards and then making the changes needed to demonstrate that reducing pesticide use is an attainable goal ,” said Dr. Shakunthala Nair, co-chair of the Awards Committee. “We are pleased to honor Honeybear Brands for leading by example, and we hope to see other companies strive to meet the TruEarth Certification standards.”
As part of the certification program standards, Honeybear Brands growers commit to active pest management efforts, including scouting throughout the season. Thresholds are used to decide when treatment is needed, and high-risk pesticides are avoided. Growers benefit by staying up to date on the latest research. They also receive materials related to risk management as well as information about how to manage apple pests, from rodents to insects to disease.
The careful planning and implementation of the certification standards has allowed Honeybear Brands to lead the industry with increased transparency in pesticide use throughout the supply chain. This transparency makes it possible to use the Pesticide Risk Tool to analyze pesticide risks so high and moderate risks can be reduced. Thus, the practices are reviewed annually, and improvements are made for the following year.
The TruEarth program adopted by Honeybear Brands includes sustainable production practices that even go beyond IPM to include pollinator preservation, soil and water conservation, energy and waste management and grower education.
The International IPM Symposium is organized every three years, and attendees from around the world share their expertise, network with colleagues and learn the latest research and technologies for effectively managing pests.
The theme for 2022 is, “Implementing IPM across Borders and Disciplines,” and the event will be held in March of 2022.