KRAV is a Swedish organization that develops a standard that comply, but also goes beyond, the EU regulation for organic production.
— It’s a label for organic food, acting CEO Cecilia Lenbäck explains. KRAV-labelled food stands for food produced without artificial chemical pesticides, good animal welfare, reduced climate impact, more biodiversity, and better working conditions.
This Sunday, on the International Day for Biological Diversity, you launch a new initiative, together with Swedish top chefs. What is it?
— Biodiversity is a large and complex area that can be difficult for many to comprehend and relate to. However, what many of us can relate to is the fact that bee pollination of plants and crops is essential for much of the food that we eat. But the bees are unfortunately decreasing and without them, the future food production is threatened. By creating a cookbook without food, we want to demonstrate what can happen when biodiversity is threatened, by creating a cookbook without food. Just simply — no bees, no food.
And, you mentioned it, but how’d you describe the current situation for the bees and the biodiversity?
— Everything we do has an effect on our planet and the biodiversity in nature. The extensive exploitation of land has affected animals, insects and plants in a way that they have lost their natural home environments. The use of fertilizers, pesticides, and environmental toxins is contributing to decreased biodiversity. We can see that the bumble bees are declining in large numbers and are endangered with extinction and there are some species that are on the verge of extinction. The light in the tunnel is that it’s not too late, from research we can see that organic farming can have a positive effect and instead increase biodiversity. For example, on organic farms, there are on average 50 percent more species of plants and pollinators.
What can consumers do to improve the situation? And, in this campaign, you’re also highlighting certain ingredients to promote biodiversity. Can you explain them?
— As consumers we have the possibility to contribute little by little every day. By choosing organic food, we can contribute to increased biodiversity rather than the opposite. It’s just as easy as that. We’re highlighting some products to demonstrate and make them easier to comprehend. For example, for a coffee lover, it’s quite important to know that coffee beans are insect-pollinated, so it’s extra important that they are grown without pesticides in order for the bees and pollinators to be able to do their part, says Lenbäck. She adds:
— It’s challenging times in the world right now that can be difficult to comprehend. One effect we can see is that the price of food is rising. I hope that those who can continue to make a conscious and sustainable choice for both the biodiversity and to encourage farmers. If not possible with everything that you buy, list your top five products and choose them with an organic label, like KRAV.