Responsibility and sustainability are at the roots of Ricola. Therefore, the company has the 13 Swiss alpine herbs – the core of all Ricola products – cultivated at carefully selected locations in the Swiss mountains using natural methods in accordance with Bio Suisse standards. But not only the farmers under contract to Ricola contribute to sustainable herb cultivation: Bees and other pollinating insects are indispensable for the herbs to thrive. They play an important role in the pollination of numerous plants. For various reasons – such as increasing habitat loss, climate change or a shortage of food – bees are under increasing pressure and need to be supported.
“Without bees, there would be no herbs for our Ricola drops," says Thomas P. Meier, CEO of Ricola. "At Ricola, we want to take responsibility and get involved in meaningful projects to protect bees and other pollinators."
On the occasion of the International World Bee Day on May 20, 2022, the company will launch several projects in Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy to preserve and improve the livelihood of bees and other pollinators. After all, they are important workers for Ricola, too.
Switzerland: Wildflower strips as a valuable source of food
Ricola has made a generous donation to support the project "wildflower strips" of BienenSchweiz, the beekeepers' association of German-speaking and Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland. Wildflower strips are aimed to offer more sources of food to bees and other pollinating insects, thus promoting biodiversity. For this purpose, strips of land are sown with a tailor-made blossom mix at various locations. The seed mix is composed taking into account the existing local landscape elements such as hedges and meadows so that the new food source for bees and insects ideally complements the surroundings.
This creates an improvement in the blossom supply for honey bees and wild pollinators, such as wild bees and bumblebees. This in turn promotes the pollination of plants and trees. "We are very pleased that a renowned company such as Ricola is dedicated to bee protection and promotion. Partnerships like this one allow us to implement our projects in a targeted manner," says Christoph Villiger, an expert at BienenSchweiz.
Germany: Save bees and win
Since 2018, Ricola has been a partner of "Deutschland summt!", a project of the Stiftung Mensch und Umwelt, in Germany. As part of the partnership, Ricola is committed to promote bees and other pollinating insects. For example, Ricola has been a sponsor of the Germany-wide planting competition "Wir tun was für Bienen" which is part of the "Deutschland summt!" initiative. During this campaign up to 450,000m² of land is planted in a bee-friendly way each year by individuals, schools and associations. This year, the campaign is taking place from April to August 2022.
To further promote bee protection, consumers receive a 10-euro voucher for the online plant store www.pflanzmich.de when purchasing a Ricola promotional product from April 1 to July 31, 2022, and uploading the receipt of the purchase at www.bienengewinne-ricola.de. The seeds can be used to turn balconies and gardens into bee-friendly places.
In addition, participants have the chance to win 1,500 other bee-friendly prizes such as Ricola wild bee hotels, bee pocketbooks and ‘seed bowls’. All these items have been tested by the initiative "Deutschland summt!" for their benefits for bees.
Italy: Financial support for bees in high mountain regions
In Italy, Ricola is cooperating with Slow Food Italy to protect bees in high mountain regions. The partnership with Slow Food Italy, an initiative promoting the preservation of local food cultures and traditions, has been regularly renewed over the last decade. Ricola supports beekeepers in mountain regions and implements specific measures for the protection of high mountain bees.
True to the motto "Every Ricola counts", consumers influence the project directly: by buying Ricola products, they contribute to the protection of bees. The campaign runs from April to the end of July 2022.
France: Buy "Douceur de Miel" and help the bees
It is not only the herbs that give Ricola products their distinctive taste; honey also contributes to the flavor experience in some of Ricola's drops. This precious ingredient adds to the soothing properties of the herbs and is characterized by its naturalness and warm aroma. That is why Ricola products with honey have found great favor among the consumers. One of them is "Douceur de Miel" which has been available in France in the convenient Z-click box since spring 2022.
In conjunction with the International World Bee Day, Ricola is donating 0.25 euros to the Terre d'Abeilles association for every pack of "Douceur de Miel" sold. This campaign is aiming to support the association with a total of 50,000 euros. Terre d'Abeilles promotes the protection of bees and other pollinators at local, national and European level.
Ricola is one of the world’s most modern and innovative manufacturers of herb drops. Ricola herb specialities are exported to more than 45 countries and are famous for their fine Swiss quality. Founded in 1930, with headquarters in Laufen near Basel and subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the USA, Ricola now produces around 60 different herb drops and tea specialities. In Switzerland, this family-owned company is a pioneer in herb cultivation and places great value on using carefully selected locations and controlled, environmentally sound cultivation methods. Ricola has concluded fixed long-term purchase agreements with almost 100 farmers in Swiss mountain regions. Ricola is committed to sustainable corporate management, economically, socially and ecologically and is a responsible employer. The traditional values of a family-run enterprise coupled with Swiss quality and a passion for innovation are crucial factors in the success of the Ricola global brand.
BienenSchweiz, the beekeepers' association of German-speaking and Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland, stands up for honey bees and wild bees. The association is also the main contact for bee-related issues on a political level. Since 2021, BienenSchweiz also offers a practice-oriented education program how to protect and promote bees in your own personal environment - be it a farm or a garden. Are you interested? For more information about BienenSchweiz, visit www.bienen.ch.