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KAMPALA, UGANDA, September 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- President and founder of honey processing company Bee Natural Uganda Maria Odido had a vision. The honey business in Uganda was operating on a very small and little organized scale. A few small farmers worked individually with rudimentary equipment and lack of technique, while the economy in the area was mostly relying on tobacco. Many of the farmers found themselves enslaved by steep loans and unable to meet their terms.
Odido saw an opportunity to not only revolutionize the industry, but to bring opportunity to the desperate and impoverished farmers.
"I wanted to sell a brand that tells a story about Uganda," explains Odido, who went to work on getting funding and organize farmers into groups of 12-15 to maximize resources. She then provided them with free of charge training and continued to link them to financial institutions for subsidized financing to buy commercial beehives in addition to the traditional beehives they were working with. "We organize producer groups and train them in all aspects of commercial bee keeping. Then, at the end of the season, Bee Natural Uganda purchases the complete harvest. We do not sell honey in bulk, as it was the case before, but created a brand that now has organic quality and substantial reach, not just in Uganda but in the East African region, where the population exceeds 200 million."
Bee Natural Uganda has been recognized as the highest quality Honey and today controls 65 % of the market. This makes them the leading honey business in the country and the second biggest in Kenya.
The company also stands out in its production of Eucalyptus honey, which has been widely recognized for its health beneficial properties. Based on careful calculations Odido estimates that production will increase by 50% within the next 3 years.
Despite the enormous success of Bee Natural Uganda, there is still tremendous room for expansion. Odido believes that with the right partner the business could more than quadruple its capacity.
"Currently we are producing 80 tons annually, but our factory has the capacity to do 400 tons. There is so much untapped potential for beekeeping in the whole country.
"We were a pioneer company and were trying to manage the growth at a sustainable pace. We wanted to strengthen every part of the business before moving forward.
"We are now ready for someone to join who has the necessary expertise to increase production in the field as well as help develop new products."
Bee Natural Uganda recently started collaborating with the US Peace Corp to help organize operations with special focus on the field to ensure smooth production. Odido stresses that it is key to continually engage the farmers and develop loyalty and understanding of market dynamics as well as business relationships. There is also the need to maintain the bee keeping process in a commercially sustainable way. Operations are currently set up in 5 districts in the West Nile. Bee Natural Uganda is poised for continuous growth and expanding its already substantial market share.
For more information on Bee Natural Uganda or to inquire about partnership opportunities please contact
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