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  • Konstanza Haefner

The Sticky Business of Impact: Zambia’s Honey Sector:

Zambia has emerged as a promising contender in the global honey market in recent years. The export volume is being forecasted to be 1,270 metric tons in 2027; with a 4- 5% annual increase in the last years, the growth potential is clearand promising.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are successful honey producing countries in Africa. Their production and exports are much bigger than Zambia’s, which results from a combination of tradition, climate, modern techniques and added value products.

The traditional method of honey production in Zambia is neither sustainable, nor suitable for the levels of mass production necessary to grow the market to allow for international exports. However, with the introduction of newer, more sustainable methods of honey production that are more suited to higher levels of production, the market can only grow.

The production of Zambian honey allows for a great amountof benefits to the local ecosystem and population. Those who inhabit the Miombo forest in the Northwestern and Central Provinces in Zambia, rely largely on logging and charcoal production to make an income. By providing them with beehives and harvesting equipment, Wild Hive & Co. has taken a market leading position in creating a truly sustainable brand. They buy the honey produced by these hives directly from the beekeepers, giving them an income that does not rely on the deforestation of the Miombo forest. Furthermore, by educating (maybe training?) them on more environmentally friendly and renewable methods of honey production, the practice serves to be more sustainable, from beginning to end.

Wild Hive & Co. makes sure to be constantly changing and innovating their product and methods of acquiring it, striving to move to the next phase of beehives. These include updating the hardware and equipment used in honey production and honey harvesting as well as growing the skills of those who man the beehives. Wild Hive & Co. places great focus on the local communities, ensuring they remain at the centre of their practice. The highest quality standards are maintained in the processing cycle in its state-of-the art processing plant. The company is constantly testing their product to confirm it remains their standard of a natural and pure product.

Zambian honey is already on the global market, having been sold in supermarkets in England, across Europe and the USA, China or South Africa. The global demand for the product highlights its potential to grow its global market share. Consumers buy it because it is a unique product that is not as easily found and is guaranteed to be wholly natural, as opposed to other forms of honey sold. A staggering 46% of honey tested by the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office and the Joint Research Centre being adulterated products, and according to the same report, all 10 samples of honey exported from the UK to Europe having failed the authenticity test.

Europe is the second largest importer of honey, after the US. The fact that Zambian honey is already on the market and known to be an entirely natural product means that there is much room and potential for it to grow in popularity and if the Zambian honey industry finds ways to improve its productivity, there is a great export potential for its products.

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