Setting up a honeyshop to link remote bee farmers to urban markets

Published: 13 November 2017
Last edited: 21 March 2018

CAMGEW, while using apiculture as a tool to conserve the Kilum-Ijim forest, discovered that bee farmers were producing honey from the forest and around the forest but never had a market for their honey and bees wax. Our conservation work could be a failure if CAMGEW could not find a market for their honey and bees wax. Bee farmers could now protect the forest from bushfire, thanks to their beehives found in the forest. CAMGEW had to buy their honey and take it to Bamenda town in order to sell it. CAMGEW created a Honeyshop in Bamenda called NORTH WEST BEE FARMERS MESSENGER (NOWEFAM) to sell Oku White Honey, brown honey, bumble bee honey,  bee suits made in our vocational school, locally made bee smokers, locally made beehives, bee wax and candles made from bees wax. The shop products are available in different quantities for different prices. The Honeyshop provides coffee and tea with honey and some snacks. The shop also sells other home-made items like crafts. It is also a resource centre for bee farmers and would-be bee famers with documents that they come to read on apiculture. Bees wax and honey is sold nationally and internationally. Marketing is challenging, but we are working hard and the future looks bright.

Classifications

Category
Sustainable financing
Scale of implementation
National
Phase of solution
Implementation

Enabling factors

CAMGEW HONEYSHOP is found in town: The cooperatives sell the honey around the forest area and CAMGEW only assists in marketing of their products where they can not reach to avoid competition.

Many people seek honey produced around this forest area, but due to distance and communication problems, they can not access it. The honeyshop in town facilitates their access to this honey.

The process of exportation of bees wax and honey are complicated for cooperatives and need constant communication, which is difficult for local people.

Lessons learned

There is need to continue working to develop the value chain of Oku White Honey to get more jobs, income and conserve the forest

Running a Honeyshop as a charity  requires marketing skills. 

The honeyshop is appreciated, but needs time and investment, which charities never have

Owning a Honeyshop is a new model because NGOs must start thinking of raising funds to cover some cost than depending on external funding. 

CAMGEW works with Man and Nature France to develop the value chains of forest products in order to create jobs and income for forest people and executing NGOs to better manage the forest. The results are amazing.

There are many good, natural products that are well packaged and analysed in laboratories to determine their values for health, environment, finance, and how they can help in poverty alleviation.

CAMGEW-Honeyshop is a great innovation and once it works, we plan to convert it to a legal social enterprise to help raise funds for CAMGEW.