A Worldwide Sustainability Initiative

Together with our partners in The Netherlands and West Africa, we created our sustainable program “We Are All One Hive”. It is a serious commitment to a healthy ecosystem and a fair and safe supply chain focusing on three pillars as guidance: Environmental, Social and Economic. Our team works to ensure that everyone involved benefits from this program starting with the Individual beekeeper at the village level through the finished good manufacturer using the wax for production.

Benefits to the Farmers

We Are All One Hive Creating A More Sustainable World

“We Are All One Hive” trains and supports individual beekeepers in the West African countries of Togo, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso. Through partnership grants with USAID, Koster Keunen works side by side with beekeepers and offers supplies needed to be successful. Koster Keunen also provides training of beekeepers on best practices in colony management, extraction, and separation methods for cleaner honey and wax.

During the growing season, the beekeepers tend their hives. When the season is complete, they carry out the honey and wax extraction. Before Koster Keunen initiated this program, the wax was often seen as a by-product of the honey production, and with no commercial value or outlet, it was disposed of. Today, we are the secure and guaranteed market for the wax. With this market availability, more people can become beekeepers.

A Stable Income for Everyone

A major benefit of “We Are All One Hive” is income stability. Many of our partners are small holder farmers who receive income only one or two times per year when bringing crops to market. By introducing honey and wax into that income stream, a bee farmer gets two additional crop cycles per year, adding to their overall income stability.

The benefits of our Beeswax Sustainability Program spread far and wide in these communities. Not only do the beekeepers benefit, but so do their families, communities, and environment. Local carpenters make hives, and teas of people sew bee suits and gloves. An entire region can benefit as the food production increases with the local farmers whose crops the bees are pollinating.

Studies have shown that at least 40% of the food we eat is the result of pollination. Nowhere was this more evident than after we compared two mango plantations in Togo – one was using bees from our program for pollination and the other was not. The difference was astounding! The number of fruits and size of the fruits was significantly larger at the farm where the bees were actively pollinating.

We Are All One Hive Creating A More Sustainable World

We Are All Part of the Chain

We believe companies should be doing everything they can to really understand their supply chains, right down to the individuals responsible for the product they are buying. These type of partnership programs between suppliers and communities show how everyone can benefit, including the environment. It is not only the right thing to do – it’s truly a way to position ourselves to leave the world better off than when we found it.

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About Koster Keunen

Koster Keunen has been working with wax since 1852 and has used our extensive experience and knowledge base to continuously develop new chemistries. Whether you are developing a new product, or need help with a reformulation or replacement, contact us to learn more about how we source, refine or develop waxes so you can create the perfect formula.