Concerns about the potential impact of seed treatment technology on pollinators (such as honey bees) highlight the importance of stewardship and communication.
Syngenta is committed to protecting pollinators and is involved with a number of initiatives locally and globally to support bee health. A few examples are described below.
Operation Pollinator an international biodiversity initiative focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature. The program's mandate is to support activities that enhance biodiversity, habitat and other practical initiatives that contribute to healthy pollinator populations.
CropLife Canada and its members created the Accredited Seed Treatment Operation Standards to provide uniform environmental health and safety practices for the storage and handling of designated seed treatment products in Canada. Only Accredited Seed Treatment Operators certified under this code are eligible to receive PCP (pest control product) registered treatment product shipments for commercial applications. The standards are aimed to develop and implement improved stewardship practices in the storage and use of the plant science industry’s seed treatment products. Sites must successfully complete an audit conducted by a certified Seed Treatment Auditor to become accredited.
Cleanfarms is an industry-led program to recycle empty pesticide containers safely. Farmers can drop off their packaging at collection sites across the country where they are appropriately cleaned and managed. This program has expanded to also include collection of pesticide and seed bags in various provinces, with the aim to provide additional methods for safe and proper disposal of used bags to help ensure wildlife do not come in contact with packaging material.
From 2005 to 2019, Syngenta partnered with Fondation de la faune du Québec on a project to increase habitat management and biodiversity along rivers and streams in Quebec’s agricultural watersheds, working directly with farmers and in partnership with l’Union des producteurs agricoles (the Agricultural Producers Union).
Syngenta and Fondation de la faune enhanced the pollinator outreach portion of the project in 2012 to establish a biodiversity and pollinator habitat demonstration site on farm to showcase co-existence and the beneficial relationship that exists between biodiversity and agriculture. The site was a learning centre for farmers in the surrounding region who can study ways to further protect and enhance biodiversity on their farms.
From 2012 through 2015, Syngenta partnered with the Kensington North Watersheds Association and the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association to fund on-farm activities to restore streams, reduce field run-off and improve biodiversity. Improved agricultural field buffers are important foraging space for bees.