Are you conscious of where your food comes from when preparing an evening meal or while enjoying your lunch? If we take the time to look, many of us might be amazed at the diversity in origin of the basic ingredients to our meals.
For the annual International Day of Biological Diversity on 22nd May which had the motto “Our Biodiversity - Our Food - Our Health” this year, the Bayer Bee Care team partnered with Bayer canteens to organize awareness-raising events for employees during lunchtime. This included exhibition stands, information flyers and a special lunch menu at canteens on our Leverkusen and Monheim sites in Germany and at St. Louis in the USA. The idea behind the meal was to illustrate how diverse the origins of our crops are, yet to also make employees aware that a declining number of crops are actually reaching our plates.
According to the FAO, more than 6,000 plant species have been cultivated for food but less than 200 make major contributions to food production globally, regionally or nationally. In fact, only nine plants account for 66 percent of total crop production! As a result, despite a greater diversity of crops being grown globally, the food on most of our plates in increasingly being dominated by only a few. Biodiversity specialists thus call for more ecological awareness to support local polycultures and emphasize the need for stronger international collaboration to strengthen the link between agriculture and biodiversity.
At Bayer we acknowledge our responsibility to help preserve and enhance biodiversity and shape agriculture to benefit farmers, consumers and the planet. To achieve this, we are convinced that fundamental changes in agricultural production systems will be needed – and that we have an important role to play as a company. Both World Bee Day on the 20th of May, on which we re-iterated the importance of bees and other insect pollinators and the need to protect them, and the biodiversity event, were a great way of showing employees how we can contribute so that everyone can continue to enjoy crop diversity on their plates, enhanced through pollinator diversity in the fields.
A 3-course biodiversity menu was served up, including bean ragout with guacamole and three varieties of rice.
In St. Louis, USA, the demonstration bee comb at the center of the stand proved a great talking point for employees.
In Leverkusen, Germany, the Bee Care exhibition mobile helped draw people to learn more about where their food comes from.
Colleagues in Thailand held a special event with partners to celebrate World Bee Day last week.
Biodiversity and sustainable agriculture go hand-in-hand:
We too have to find a new way of thinking:
Insects – Why we cannot live without them: