A new study says major food conglomerates and other companies are unaware of how much they are dependent on pollinators like bees, birds, and other wild critters to keep their supply chains intact.

Agricultural chemicals, like neonicotinoids, are blamed for the disturbing decline of global bee populations, while climate change threatens other species.

The researchers came from the United Nations Environment Program, Fauna & Flora International, and the University of Cambridge.  They surveyed eight major companies - including heavy-hitters like Pepsico, Asda, The Body Shop, Mars, and Jordans - to assess how aware they were of the impact pollinators have on their supply chains.

But fewer than half actually grasped which of their raw materials depended on pollinators, nor which regions of the world were at risk.

"Pollinator loss would potentially decrease crop production by about 90 percent in at least 12 percent of the leading global crops," said Gemma Cranston, director of natural capital at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.  "It's a threat that hasn't necessarily been translated yet into corporate supply chains."

Big companies need to understand that there will be major impacts on their bottom lines, not just because of dwindling supplies but also because of new regulations and certification schemes such as those for fair-trade products.

"To help fix the problem, you need to engage these large multinationals to recognize there is an issue here," Cranston told Germany's DW News.  "And to start fixing the problems, it becomes an issue of what's in it for them."