Aussie beekeepers are fighting back after a challenging year marked by bushfires, honey shortages and border closures, calling on consumers to buy local and educate themselves about how their food reaches the table.
The nation’s “forgotten farmers” are headlining a new campaign that celebrates the dedication and hard work that goes into every jar of honey, and connects shoppers with producers in their region.
The Capilano Proudly Local range, a state-by-state product that promises the honey in the jar comes solely from beekeepers in the relevant state, will appear in stores around the country from today.
Castlemaine-based beekeeper Peter McDonald, who previously headed the industry body AHBIC (Australian Honey Bee Industry Council) and features on the Victoria pack, said he hoped Proudly Local would help inspire others into the industry. “We need a new generation of beekeepers to take up this profession to see it thrive into the future. Beekeeping is not just about producing honey, there is a much broader agricultural role as well. Australia really needs its bees and its beekeepers.”
Mr McDonald said beekeeping was hugely satisfying, and there was no greater reward than happy bees and hives full of honey. “The vast majority of Australian honey production – around 80% - comes from eucalypts, which produce thick honey with a low moisture content and delicious taste. Consumers can’t do any better than buying 100% Australian honey.”
Hive + Wellness, the company behind the Capilano brand, CEO Ryan d’Almeida said: “Consumers increasingly want to know where products have come from, both for quality reasons and because they want to back local industry. This new range allows them to support not just Australian beekeepers, but beekeepers in their home state.”
“More than 800 beekeepers provide the honey that goes into Capilano’s 100% Australian honey. Many of them come from families who have been supplying our company for generations. The Proudly Local campaign is our way of highlighting and celebrating the amazing job beekeepers do.”
The label on each Proudly Local pack features a local beekeeper and shares a little of their beekeeping story with the consumer.
“COVID-19 has brought a range of challenges for beekeepers, who often travel vast distances in search of flowering trees that are perfect for their bees,” Mr d’Almeida said. “This comes after a period where drought, heat and bushfire killed millions of bees, decimated food sources and prompted the worst honey shortages we have seen. But beekeepers are an amazingly resilient group. Their dedication shines through in this campaign.”
Mr McDonald said people could learn a lot from bees. “They’re very intelligent, extraordinarily hardworking, and their teamwork is second to none. Most people, the more they understand about bees, the more interested they become in how honey is created. I hope Proudly Local helps consumers make the connection between our food and the natural environment.”
Hive + Wellness is proud to source honey from so many of Australia’s professional beekeepers for its iconic Capilano product. The company has created five Proudly Local products, for Queensland, NSW/ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It will periodically rotate the beekeepers featured on the Proudly Local packs to introduce consumers to more and more hardworking Aussie beekeeping families.
To read more about some of our dedicated and hard-working beekeepers, click here.