Neal’s Yard Remedies has ramped its long-standing Save the Bees campaign up a notch with a new parliamentary petition.
The beauty brand’s co-owner, Anabel Kindersley, rallied the support of more than 55 other British businesses and organisations to co-sign an open letter calling on the UK government to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.
The petition calls for a national target for pesticide reduction aimed at decreasing the amount used and toxicity levels, as well as supporting farmers to adopt nature-friendly approaches to pest management.
Neal’s Yard Remedies said it hopes to gather 100,000 signatures for the issue to be debated in parliament.
Kindersley’s petition was hand-delivered with support from industry players Jayn Sterland, Chair of Sustainable British Coalition and MD at Weleda UK; Millie Kendall, CEO of the British Beauty Council; and journalist Lucy Siegle.
Kindersley further hosted a Bee Symposium this June, bringing together environmental experts and industry leaders to address the effects of certain pesticides on wildlife, farming and pollinators.
Neal’s Yard’s stance follows recent emergency authorisations by the UK government to allow the use of thiamethoxam (a common neonicotinoid) on sugar beet crops, against the advice of its expert advisors.
Thiamethoxam use was banned in 2018 across Europe after a series of studies found it damaged bees.
Neal's Yard Remedies has long been a champion of bee welfare. A decade ago, the brand launched its Bee Lovely range and, in 2013, delivered a Bee Lovely petition with 117,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street, lobbying the government to ban three neonicotinoid pesticides within the EU.
“The good thing about business is we can innovate, problem solve and tax raise to support farmers,” said Kindersley of the new petition.
“I want this to be a positive campaign, to help [farmers] to find a way out, wean them off [pesticides], and move away from negative and destructive ways.”
As part of this new phase, Neal’s Yard Remedies has partnered with British fashion designer Bella Freud, who has created a £25 t-shirt for the cause with all proceeds donated to bee conservation and nature-friendly farming initiatives.