FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Clif Family + Bare Honey’s Solar Grown™ Raw Honey Wins 2020 Good Food Award
Harvested From Honey Bee Hives on Pollinator-friendly Solar Farms, This Product Demonstrates a Productive Use of the Land Around Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
St. Helena, Calif. – January 23rd, 2021 – Clif Family and Bare Honey received a 2020 Good Food Award this weekend for Solar Grown™ Raw Honey. Harvested from hives located on pollinator-friendly solar farms, this product combines creating healthy habitats and food sources for honeybees, native bees and other pollinators with developing a unique specialty food item.
With 1,928 entries in 16 categories, the Good Food Award winners are recognized for leading the way in quality, sustainability, and socially responsible food production. “It’s an honor to receive a Good Food Award for this product that supports our mission to craft unique regional wine and foods using practices that care for the earth and support sustainable and organic farming methods,” said Linzi Gay, Clif Family’s General Manager. “Our Solar Grown™ honey products are particularly important as they support the pollinators essential to food security.”
“When energy buyers ask for solar parks to use ground cover that includes flowering plants, the result is additional benefits to ecosystems and agriculture,” said beekeeper Dustin Vanasse who founded and runs Bare Honey and Solar-Based Beekeeping with his wife Grace Vanasse.
Populations of pollinators and other beneficial insects are in widespread decline and a leading cause is habitat loss. Lack of sufficient number of pollinators is already negatively impacting crop yields in the United States . Science-based state standards establish what constitutes “pollinator-friendly” for ground cover on the working landscape of a solar farm—typically a diverse mix of low-growing flowering plants instead of bare ground or turf-type grasses. Research shows that pollinator-friendly ground cover can result in a three-fold increase in pollinator abundance .
The Solar Grown trademark from clean energy nonprofit Fresh Energy indicates that a product was produced on or adjacent to a solar farm that meets pollinator-friendly solar vegetation standards. Clif Family’s sister company, Clif Bar & Company, built a 5-acre pollinator-friendly solar farm to not only provide energy for its bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho, but also to provide habitat for local pollinators. Clif Bar & Company is also an investor in other pollinator-friendly solar projects. The hope is that these pollinator-friendly, pesticide-free habitats will create a positive difference in the long-run for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, while providing the benefits of delicious, sustainable products.
Forward-thinking farmers have been quick to notice the rapid increase in demand for energy generated by arrays of solar panels. Scientists predict farmers and other landowners will lease more than 2 million acres of land for solar projects by 2030—an increase from around 350,000 acres in 2020. With support from the Solar Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are conducting research into “low-impact” solar development designs that provide dual-uses and co-benefits to agriculture and ecosystems. The NREL study, named InSPIRE, is also showing how low-impact solar designs can reduce costs and increase operating efficiency because of reduced mowing and creation of a cooler micro-climate under the panels. More than a dozen states have adopted land use standards to encourage pollinator-friendly ground cover under and around the panels on solar facilities. Some practitioners refer to the dual agricultural and energy functions of these project as “agrivoltaics.”
In addition to classic raw honey, Clif Family blends the raw honey with spices to create three flavorful honey spreads. The Clif Family Solar Grown Honey Spreads are gently spun together to encourage natural honey crystals to form and create a smooth and creamy appearance. Clif Family sources spices from Burlap and Barrel, a purveyor of unique and equitably sourced spices, to develop these flavors.
The Clif Family Solar Grown Honey is available in 12 oz. jars for a suggested retail price of $15.00. The three Solar Grown™ Honey Spreads are individually available in 5.5 oz. jars for a suggested retail price of $10.00. They can be found online at www.cliffamily.com.
About Clif Family
Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, the co-founders and co-owners of Clif Bar & Company founded Clif Family in 2004 around their passion for creating delicious, small batch food and wine while caring for their people, the planet and their communities. The portfolio includes small production Napa Valley wines and handcrafted foods, such as Savory Nut Mixes, Chocolates, Fruit Preserves, Hot Sauces and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Clif Family Farm is located in California’s Napa Valley with vineyards, olive trees, fruit trees, honey bees, an herb garden and an extensive vegetable garden. For more information and to purchase, please visit www.cliffamily.com.
Linzi Gay, General Manager
1 Crop production in the USA is frequently limited by a lack of pollinators Proc. R. Soc. B. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0922
2 Modeling the ecosystem services of native vegetation management practices at solar energy facilities in the Midwestern United States, Ecosystem Services, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101227