By JOHN SAKALA
Honey produced in Zambia has successfully penetrated the European Union market and is on sale in several countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Norway.
The honey is produced by a company called Mama Buci based on the Copperbelt Province and is being sold by large European retail shops such as Fenwick, Wholefoods and is also available on Amazon the world’s largest online retailer.
Martin Zuch, proprietor of Mama Buci, said that Zambian honey is the best in the world because it is natural, straight from the forest and it is multiflora.
“It has different favors, we have summer honey and winter honey, we harvest in July and December. I am happy to say that we have managed to penetrate the EU market and our honey is found in United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Norway and also South Africa. Here in the UK, our honey is currently sold in Fenwick, Wholefoods, Amazon, Daily and Organic shops. This is good but we can do more, we need to market Zambian honey more,” he said.
Mr Zuch was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural World Bee Day 2019 held in London at which Zambia was invited to participate in recognition of the country being a renowned bee-keeping and world honey producer.
He said his company has won several international awards in the bee production sector among them a Gold star award and a Great Taste award. He added that his company was trying to create a premium brand that is purely Zambian.
He said Mama Buci exports between 400 and 500 tonnes of honey to the EU every year.
He further said Mama Buci is also producing cosmetics and other side products and wants Zambian Honey and wax to represent Zambia. He added that his mission is see Zambian honey and cosmetic products in the best shops in the UK.
Meanwhile, Mr Zuch said there is urgent need to raise awareness about the importance of honey bees as pollinators and as an income generator in Zambia saying people should be encouraged to undertake beekeeping training so that people in rural areas can generate an income and contribute to sustainable rural development.
He said Apiculture (the activity of job of keeping bees, especially to produce honey) plays a crucial role for Zambian agriculture and forestry, since the pollination of bees is necessary for the development and survival of both agricultural crops and trees.
The inaugural World Bee Day was attended by representatives from several countries and Zambia was represented by two companies engaged in Zambian honey products, Namely Tropical Forests Limited (Mr. Ian Wainwright) and Mama Buci (Martin Zuch) as well as officials from the Zambia High Commission in London.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom Abigail Chaponda.