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Collaborations with USAID

Koster Keunen in conjunction with USAID have started a new project in West Africa promoting growth and support of smallholder beekeepers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire (North), Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Togo. This two-year project will contribute over $1.7 million USD, and will focus on support and training of new and existing beekeepers in the aforementioned countries. The current estimated beneficiaries of this project will be over 50,000 individuals helping small local beekeepers, farmers and families.

Koster Keunen West Africa (KKWA) will provide training, support, beehives and protective equipment (PPE) across the region to support beekeeping initiatives. Farmers will be trained on organic beekeeping techniques from set up through wax collection, and year-round hive management. The inclusion of beekeeping will increase crop pollination, food production and financial stability across the region. There will be an additional focus on biodiversity protection with the collaboration of expert beekeepers in the area.

Prior to this program, beekeepers did not have the logistics or market to move their wax and honey out of their local area. The support KKWA provides, changes this dynamic and promotes socially and ethically responsible beeswax to the global market. The training will introduce a livelihood to thousands of new beekeepers, increase quality of life and embed sustainable beekeeping practices in West Africa. Our primary focus is to provide training for a livelihood with real reoccurring secured incomes.

Koster Keunen is the world’s expert in beeswax and has been in business on three continents for over 165 years. Their international footprint helps them clearly understand the global impact of healthy bees. This program building capacity of sustainably and ethically sourced beeswax has had a tremendous positive effect on the bees, beekeepers, and local families across the region.

Solar Power

Koster Keunen has partnered with Dynamic Energy and launched a solar panel project that will generate over a million kWh of energy and offset 891 tons of carbon emissions in the first year.

Dynamic Energy has installed 2,520 individual solar panels that produce 894,600 watts of clean solar power and provide approximately 88 percent of Koster Keunen’s annual electricity needs directly from sunlight.

Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon calculator, the carbon dioxide reduction from this project will be the same as removing 173 passenger cars from the roadways for one year. Most of the panels will be installed on the roof of Koster Keunen’s Watertown facility, with some additional panels being ground-mounted in the rear of the property.

The project is being completed with support from Connecticut’s Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) program.

Koster Keunen President John Koster is looking forward to more than reducing the company’s carbon footprint. “We are really excited to make this our first major investment into our 2020 green initiative,” he said. “Clean energy is the future. We are thrilled to be part of the movement and we thank Dynamic Energy and the state of Connecticut for assisting us in this important effort.”

“We congratulate and are excited to assist Koster Keunen on its first solar project,” said Brett Thibodeau, president, and COO of Dynamic Energy. “This system will power Koster Keunen’s world-class facility for years to come – clearly demonstrating the company’s commitment to clean energy for its employees, customers, and community.”

Respect for the World We All Share

The careful collaboration between the local population and the leading beeswax producer in West Africa creates an excellent boost to the rural economy around the national park centered on sustainability.

Earth-Friendly Waxes and the Trend Towards Waterless Formulations

There is no question that the trend this year in cosmetics and personal care products is waterless formulations. Waterless products are more portable than dilutions, and consumers appreciate the potential for less packaging. The secret to formulating these systems is structure and stability.