No life without biodiversity

In 1992 the UN passed its Convention on Biological Diversity, an agreement on biodiversity with the following three main objectives:

  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Fair and equitable sharing of benefits (compensation) arising from biodiversity

We are committed to achieving this by actively supporting organic farming. Scientific studies by the FiBL prove that organic agriculture promotes biodiversity – chiefly due to the absence of synthetic chemical pesticides, more varied crop rotation and a greater number of ecological compensation areas.

Through the Coop Sustainability Fund, in addition to supporting organic agriculture we also support more than 30 projects that help preserve biodiversity.

Fund projects to promote biodiversity

  • FiBL research project
    Basic research on climate-neutral crop cultivation and vegetable production and on minimizing concentrated feed in cattle feeding.
  • Organic farming in tropical regions
    Comparative study of the contribution of organic farming to securing the food supply, combating poverty and preserving eco-systems in tropical regions by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, BioVision and LED.
  • ProSpecieRara
    Promoting varieties and breeds threatened with extinction, by including them in the range and supporting the Pro Specie Rara diversity gardens, orchards and «arks».
  • Standard fruit tree orchards
    Maintaining and fostering endangered standard fruit trees as a traditional landscape feature by developing a range of Hochstamm Suisse products and promoting communication.

How we are supporting bees

Bees are essential to life. They pollinate around 80 percent of our agricultural crops and make an invaluable contribution to maintaining biodiversity. Yet for some time now, all over the world, bee populations have been dying out. There are many reasons behind their decline, just two of which are intensive farming and varroa mites. We are actively committed to protecting bees.

Bees love diverse habitats

Life isn't easy for these busy pollinators: A lack of food leaves them hungry, pesticides weaken then, diseases assail them and a lack of nesting places renders them homeless. Bees love to live in places rich in biodiversity. That is why we actively support organic farming. This gentle way of farming without the use of pesticides attracts wild plants and animals. In an organic field, for example, you will find three to four times more bee species and seven times as many bees as in a conventional field.

Delisting of pesticides harmful to bees

In its «Bees in Decline» report, Greenpeace identified seven chemicals that are particularly damaging to bees. In 2015 we therefore removed a total of 19 products from the shelves in our supermarkets, Coop City department stores and Bau+Hobby stores as they contained these chemicals. We are the first retailer in Switzerland to do this and have made a significant contribution to conserving our bees.

80,000 kilometres for 1 kilo of honey

Since 2013 we have stocked the first Swiss organic blossom honey to be awarded the Bio Suisse bud. Bees fly around 80,000 kilometres to make just one kilogramme of honey. The bees that make our Swiss organic blossom honey fly these distances in areas with moderate land use, sufficiently far away from industrial areas, motorways and other sources of pollution. Their hives are made of natural materials which do not damage either the environment or the honey. Moreover, the bees are not given preventive doses of synthetic chemical drugs. Compliance with these requirements is checked annually by an independent monitoring organization.

Fewer pesticides in fruit and vegetable cultivation

We are also actively committed to reducing the use of pesticides in the conventional cultivation of fruit and vegetables. To give one example, we support grape producers from Apulia and Sicily with workshops and long-term advice on implementing organic pest control and gradually minimizing the use of pesticides.

This contributes significantly to biodiversity in the areas surrounding vineyards. In addition, various projects run by the Coop Sustainability Fund promote cultivation methods that involve fewer pesticides, for example in the cultivation of cabbages in Switzerland or in rose production in Kenya.