Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Friends of the Earth present petition to Homebase over neonicotinoid pesticides

Published: 14 November 2017 - Kiran Grewal

Giant Friends of the Earth bees visited a Homebase store in Wandsworth yesterday (Monday 13 November) to hand in a petition from over 18,000 people urging the store not to sell flowering plants grown with three neonicotinoid pesticides. The pesticides are currently restricted throughout Europe on crops attractive to bees. 

Last week the UK government announced that it will back tougher restrictions on these bee-harming chemicals.

In August this year Friends of the Earth revealed that nine of the top ten leading garden centres and retailers don’t want suppliers to use the chemicals – but Homebase has yet to commit to working with suppliers to end the use of these chemicals. 

Earlier this year research by leading bee scientist Professor Dave Goulson revealed that 70% of the plants tested from a number of stores contained neonicotinoid pesticides – including three pesticides restricted across Europe that have been found to pose a ‘high acute risk’ to honeybees [3].  Plants bought at Homebase were amongst those which tested positive for the restricted pesticides.


Over 18,000 people have so far contacted Homebase, via a Friends of the Earth online action, urging the store to act on neonicotinoids, but they have yet to receive a reply.

A Friends of the Earth YouGov poll published in May 2017 found that over three quarters of the British public (78%) agree that garden centres and retailers should not sell plants grown with pesticides that are harmful to bees.

The environmental organisation is also urging the Royal Horticultural Society [RHS] to call on suppliers not to use the three restricted neonicotinoid chemicals. Its ‘perfect for pollinators’ list of recommended plants doesn’t currently prohibit the use of these bee harming pesticides.  The RHS says it is speaking to the trade about Professor Goulson’s research and “will provide an update once we have decided the most appropriate action”.

Friends of the Earth bee campaigner Dr Nick Rau said: “Earlier this year nine of the leading top 10 garden retailers said they have told suppliers not to use restricted neonicotinoid pesticides on their flowering plants – but Homebase has yet to follow suit.

“There is huge public enthusiasm for creating bee-friendly spaces, and they may understandably be concerned about buying plants grown with neonicotinoids. 

“Now that the UK government is backing tougher restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides, we hope Homebase will listen to public opinion and growing scientific evidence, and take action too.”

Commenting on the Royal Horticultural Society and neonicotinoid pesticides, Dr Rau said: “We’re pleased the RHS is reviewing its advice on this issue, we hope it will back efforts to keep neonics out of our gardens plants too.”


(Your email address will not be published)
Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?
Printable View E-mail Bookmark

What do you think?

Has the trend for more outdoor heating and lighting products helped extend the window for selling outdoor lines?

Latest reader comments

re: Acana tackles carpet moths with carpet & fabric moth killer and freshener

Stephanie Ferrante
Hello, could someone from customer service call me - I am located in the US and we have a moth/ carpet issue. I am going to purchase this ...

re: Tommy Walsh: 'I'm really proud of my £1 tools'

Gregory ciacci
paint brushes good but paint roller sponge keeps fallinf off as i am painting doesnt help if i am doing big front room wall like i have ...

re: B&Q overhauls kitchen and bathroom sales process

No BQ employees affected - how come???when they're unemployed and losing a wage.....derrrrr...

re: Kingfisher opens first net zero energy store

Guy Eames
well done kingfisher! I’m going to make this store my main diy supply base. Perfect example of where sustainability is a win-win. ...

re: The Range to take over Homebase store in Cardiff

susan way
please can you tell me when the new range will be open on culverhouse cross is please thank you...

Most read stories

Blog and Comment

Dawn of a new age in customer service

Customer service used to be about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast paced, social media driven society ... Read More >>