Nedbank has joined the buzz following the lead of their long-term banking client, Boland Cellar, by committing to planting honey bee forage, specifically trees for bees, in our Boland Trees for Bees programme.
Boland Cellar is a founding partner with The Bee Effect in driving reforestation with honey bees in mind through this programme.
“It just makes sense to join forces to plant trees”Daneel Rossouw, Nedbank Divisional Manager of Agriculture Southern Division
When we asked Daneel Rossouw of the Nedbank Agric team in Business Banking why he was specifically motivated to support a honey bee sustainability program, we realised that our bees were festooning with another great brand.
“We have been in partnership with the WWF Sustainable Agricultural program since 2012 to address the broader impacts of other areas of farming,” said Daneel, “WWF engages with farmers in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and southern Cape, helping them improve land use planning, better production and responsible farming practices.” This program includes facilitating the development of best practice guidelines and supporting engagement with what sustainable farming entails.
According to Daneel, Nedbank Agriculture focuses on priority sectors, one of which is of course the wine industry, and those having the most impact on the ecosystem in priority conservations areas.
“In support of the Bank’s indirect involvement with the WWF initiatives as well as the Bank’s focus on sustainability, Nedbank decided to get directly involved with a specific project and it made sense to support the Trees for Bees program given Nedbank’s exposure and support to the fruit and wine industries that are reliant on pollination for production.”
As Daneel states: “Honeybees are critical to the food supply. Basically, all agricultural food crops grown around the world are dependent on pollination with bees responsible for majority of this. In addition to agricultural crops, the honeybee pollinates many of the other plants that serve as habitat and food sources for wildlife.”
What makes the Boland Trees for Bees programme a perfect conduit for supporting reforestation is because it doesn’t just feed our honey bees, reforestation plays a key role in carbon sequestration and it supports the rehabilitation of our water catchment areas; adds Daneel on this point, “critical biodiversity areas that will not be sustainable without reforestation”.
Why has Nedbank chosen to support Boland Cellar’s call to action to their partners to join our hive?
“Wine cellars and even fruit export business are continuously forced to re-invent their marketing strategies as well as product offering to remain competitive in an ever changing environment” says Daneel, “consumers are more educated and aware of the environment and their impact there-on and all major retailers abroad are now also becoming more demanding regarding ethical farming practises and sustainability. As Anneen du Toit of Boland Cellar asserts, there is a growing shift towards health and wellness which is influencing consumers’ choice of wine. But given the increased pressure on our natural resources and biodiversity there is much bigger awareness amongst businesses as well to get involved and take ownership of such initiatives. The fact that Boland Cellar is also looking at renewable energy shows that they truly embrace the sustainability concept and are committed in making long term investments in conservation and doing their bit in our planet’s future. Given Nedbank’s focus on sustainability we are proud to join forces with one of our long-standing clients Boland Cellar in driving this very important initiative.”
“I see this whole initiative” says Daneel, “as a journey with a very big educational and influencing component attached. The Bee Effect is driving various programs across the whole spectrum from farm to consumer and in the process acts as facilitator and driving force to ensure the necessary focus and remaining relevant going forward, with the ability to look at various opportunities and bring possible stakeholders to the table to ensure the desired outcome,” so, he concludes, “through regular collaboration and all role-players actively looking for touch points and opportunities we will go a long way towards achieving goals.”