In March 2008 the Steering Committee of ApiTrade Africa, the African honey trade network, met to review progress and further establish the organisation. Notable achievements since the last meeting in February 2007 include registration of the organisation, representation at the Apimondia Congress in Melbourne 2007 (see BfDJ 85), completion of the Constitution and the creation of a website.
Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) has been hosting the Secretariat for ApiTrade Africa since December 2007 on an interim basis, and Ms Dorcas Zaizi has joined the Secretariat to help with administration. The meeting resolved future actions that included finalising the membership application process, and formally launching ApiTrade Africa, to be completed during 2008. UEPB was requested to continue to host the Secretariat and this was accepted. Another agreed action was the opening of a public discussion forum for interested stakeholders to share ideas about ApiTrade Africa. To join this forum, contact the Secretariat for details.
On day three of the meeting, ApiTrade Africa members heard from Traidcraft, UK, who summarised findings of a recent honey market study. The Traidcraft representative highlighted the finding that while fair-trade certified honey is in high demand in Europe, the certification process remains a significant challenge for poor producers in Africa. On a positive note, it was reported that African and Middle East markets are demanding greater volumes of honey. These markets are relatively easy to access and offer significant commercial opportunities. For a copy of this report click here.
SITE Enterprise Promotion, Kenya, generously hosted the meeting and Bees for Development thanks them for this support. Bees for Development and three delegates from Uganda participated in the meeting as part of the Comic Relief/BfD Trust Project to strengthen honey trade in Uganda.
First published in Bees for Development Journal #87