Members of the group pose with jars of honey
The new year is off to a great start for the members of Aj Tikonel Kab’! Last month they finished bottling and packaging 120 jars of honey with their own label, and in the few weeks since they’ve sold over half of their stock to new customers in Guatemala.
With a portion of the income generated from sales, the group plans to cover the costs of future hive maintenance and product packaging, as well as expand the apiary to increase honey production for the coming harvest in April and May.
The remaining income will be divided among members, many of whom have lost over half of their annual coffee harvest income to Roya, the coffee fungus currently devastating the Guatemalan highlands. This, along with a drop in international coffee prices, has dealt a significant blow to the livelihoods of these farmers. What they make from honey sales will provide a much-needed new source of income for their families.
Meanwhile, we’re hoping to incorporate 10 additional coffee farmers into the beekeeping project cooperative.
This new group approached us earlier this year to express interest in beekeeping so that they too can become more resistent to the coffee rust epidemic. Like our current beekeepers, half of the new group members are women, and all of them are very excited about the opportunity to embark on this project.
We hope to begin training new members in late March. Our current members will guide the new beekeepers by providing mentorship and technical support, and when the time comes both groups will work together to sell the honey they produce under the Aj Tikonel Kab’ label.
However, we still need your support to help these small-scale farmers build sustainable alternative sources of income. It's not just about supporting local communities. When you donate, you also become an important part of a farmer's story.
Board members and beekeepers celebrate the harvest
Jars of honey for sale