Forest Fruits Ltd. is Zambia’s leading producer of certified organic honey and beeswax, and the largest single exporter of honey on the African Continent. This dynamic and rapidly expanding social enterprise owns the Zambezi Gold™ brand of honey and currently employs 50 full-time staff and 30 seasonal workers in addition to its out-growers, most of whom are based in Mwinilunga, North-Western Province.
Forest Fruits Ltd. works with 7,000 traditional beekeepers living in remote forests through an out-growers system that includes training and extension services. We are committed to improving the income of beekeepers in a sustainable way, enhancing the quality of lives, and assisting people in growing their rural income sources.
Since 1998, Forest Fruits Ltd. has collaborated with the beekeepers to bring high quality, certified organic bee products to the marketplace. Through the years, it has been our pleasure to introduce people around the world to the taste and health benefits of certified organic honey, beeswax, and propolis extract.
BEEKEEPING IN ZAMBIA
Traditional Zambian Beekeeping
Beekeeping is a traditional practice that dates back 500 years in north western Zambia.
Bark hives are kept in trees and spread out over large distances as far as 50 kilometers. These hives can last up to 20 years.
No antibiotics are used at any point in the beekeeping and honey harvesting process, and because the bees forage deep in the miombo forests – an area far removed from commercial agriculture – the resulting product is untouched by any pesticides.
These methods have been passed down from generation to generation among our beekeepers, and we are pleased to have learned from them and to work with them to continue this special tradition.
Forest Fruits Ltd. is a Global Food Safety Initiative certified company
Beekeepers who produce for Forest Fruits Ltd. gain access to training, capacity building, and membership with a producer group that makes the production and marketing of bee products possible in an otherwise impossible, isolated part of Zambia.
WE MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN
Forest Fruits Ltd. invests in its personnel and their interests in pursuing higher education and professional development. Some of our employees started with us as field workers with basic high school education and have worked their way up into leadership roles and management, taking the necessary courses to do so.
To obtain this education, a Forest Fruits Ltd. staff member may request a company bursary, typically covering 100% of tuition or certification fees. This funding is for a variety of credentials, from professional licenses to master’s degrees, and is available to employees at all levels. Below are some of our outstanding employees who have furthered their education with a Forest Fruits Ltd. bursary:
Mr. Kambungu completed two courses Computer Skills courses at the Basic and Intermediate levels at Nyangombi Christian Training Center. He is our Logistics and Transport Officer in Mwinilunga and has worked with Forest Fruits Ltd. since 2002
With assistance from Forest Fruits Ltd. to cover fees, Mr. Bwalya recently obtained a General Driver’s License. He has been with the company as a General Worker since 2012.
Mr. Nawej earned a Master in Business Administration degree from Mancosa, South Africa. At Forest Fruits he has progressed from Operations Manager to General Manager, and has worked with the company for 18 years.
Mr. Sikombwa earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Mancosa, South Africa. He was promoted in our company from Processing and Training Supervisor to Operations Manager, and has been with us for 12 years.
Rabeca Saboi Sianga
Ms. Saboi Sianga our Administration and Finance Officer is in her third year of studying for Bachelor of Business Administration at the Zambian Open University. She has worked with the company since 2016.
Pure & Natural:
A Healthy Advantage
Zambezi Gold™ honey is not pasteurized. We use a centrifugal extraction method, resulting in a pure, smooth honey that meets one of the highest standards in the world (EU organic certified) and maintains the healthy bioflavonoids, enzymes, and nutritious elements that are typically lost in the pasteurization process.
When you read those articles that suggest using honey to soothe a sore throat or to apply to a burn or cut, they’re talking about raw, unpasteurized honey — our honey!