Lasting empowerment through economic improvement
With the goal of helping improving the economic security of people often living below the poverty line, the projects we implement are designed to achieve a sustained upliftment of their economic position on a number of levels. In order to have a lasting and positive effect the size of a project is of importance. Often beekeeping projects are practiced on a scale of under 100 hives spread over a number of trained beekeepers, which have an impact, but not to the degree of uplifting the honey sector of an area and stimulating interest to create buoyancy and growth in the honey sector of an area. We strive to help people increase their food security, economic wealth and ability to resist the ever changing effects of climate change and agricultural insecurity. Rupert’s Honey implements large scale development projects on a sustainable basis, stimulating entrepreneurship and small business development through knowledge and skills transfer with applicable technologies and access to local or international markets.
Entrepreneurship is a proven way to drive job creation and economic growth. By training small business owners on the complex aspects of beekeeping as a business, we experience a marked improvement of people staying within a project, producing honey as they have been taught and getting good economic returns for the effort required. By organising beekeeping cooperatives, with internal protocols and self regulating quality assurance and then attached to a central processing and marketing division and number of weaknesses are overcome.
Scalability of beekeeping units
Being a hobby beekeeper on a part time basis with 10 hives is a weekends job every few weeks at certain times of the year, which produces honey and can be sold for economic gain. Having 100 hives is slightly more work with a far greater return, not exactly scalable by a division of 10, but fairly close. The problem being that for 100 hives an individual beekeeper has a far greater capital outlay to purchase equipment for extraction, increased marketing efforts and the need of transport to access additional markets. Having 2000-4000 hives supplying a centralised extraction plant, which then markets and services the cooperative’s best interest makes sense on a number of levels. People with 10 hives, or 100 hives can all supply to a central unit, be paid an agreed fair wage for the raw product which is then processed and sold for profit which the members of the cooperative have a share in. A project of 4000 hives has a positive effect of to 400 beneficiaries (if they have a simple number of 10 hives each) yet the sustainable yield of a full commercial operation and this in turn stimulates other people to want to start as the systems of production are in place to help them achieve what small individual units cannot. The entrepreneurship of developing companies leads to job creation, economic stimulation and collective strength of a bigger unit. Projects on this scale also have a benefit to others not directly involved in the project such as traditional beekeepers (whom are often beneficiaries of beekeeping projects in their own rights) by giving them an outlet to sell honey, or combs for processing and a ready market, which is often to their benefit.
By creating projects of a decent size the buoyancy and self propelling growth places the project in good stead for continued growth. Small to medium business incubation and mentoring on how to run a beekeeping enterprise helps greatly in smoothing over the initial trials and tribulations which so often stop companies in their formative years.