GIS – The initiative trains new producers in-keeping with international standards and practices, with an aim to supply local and regional markets.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is working closely with the Mille Fleur Honey Producers Cooperative to establish a plant that will produce honey for local and regional markets.
Program Coordinator for GEF, Giles Romulus, said the initiative involves a capacity building component for bee farmers.
“There is a mentorship element where new farmers and new honey producers become mentees of the existing professional honey producers. They are given five hives and when the production increases to a point they are supposed to return those five hives so that new incoming farmers could get those hives and be trained accordingly.”
Romulus notes that Saint Lucia has professional beekeepers as a result of this program. The bee farmers or apiculturists produce honey in keeping with international standards and practices.
“We are hoping that by next year, Saint Lucia will have a production line for organic honey—honey that is produced without toxic chemicals. We are also hoping that the farmers develop a business approach to honey production in Saint Lucia and to meet local and regional demands.”
The Mille Fleur Honey Producers Cooperative, based in Dennery, targets in excess of 125,000 gallons of honey per year. The grouping also has members throughout the country.