DGGF helps honey producer scale up production

It was the force of her personal ambitions that drove Jasmijn Bleijerveld to set up Jasmine Bee apiary. Having started with small-scale production and local sales in Tanzania, she will soon be exporting bulk containers with tonnes of sustainable honey to Europe with the aid of the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF).

Jasmine Bee

Jasmine Bee

Jasmine Bee apiary: "The Dutch Good Growth Fund has enabled me to significantly scale up."

Due to accelerated population growth, rapid deforestation and overgrazing, the stunning landscape of Tanzania faces severe threats. Watching this situation unfold had a profound effect on Jasmijn Bleijerveld. "The harvest of the local honey sold all along the roads proved to be responsible for the death of countless bees and trees. As soon as I learnt this fact, I immediately started to think about alternative methods."

Capitalising on ideals

Jasmijn believes that you can only realise your deepest wishes by putting them on the market. "To me, the involvement of local communities is a critical step in this process. They have to become convinced that healthy and vital forests actually benefit the development of commercial activities. As long as the locals fail to share this conviction, there is little chance that they will assist in nature conservation."

Key to upscaling

Since launching her business in 2014, Jasmijn has been in close collaboration with around 2,000 local bee-keepers and has sold her sustainable honey on the local market. To prepare the entire chain for exporting to Europe, she arranged every link from the processing plants to the logistics handling in the Port of Dar es Salaam. However, it proved difficult to secure funding for this scale of export activities. "The risk was too great for banks and investors. Fortunately, the Dutch Good Growth Fund has enabled my scale-up after all."

Bulk containers to Europe

Jasmine was able to take advantage of the DGGF's Technical Assistance in preparation for her financing application. The focus of this subsidy is on increasing capacity and reinforcing activities. Activities to which Jasmijn applies the money include training bee-keepers, obtaining Organic certification, purchasing materials for the scale-up and shipping three containers (or 60 tonnes) of organic honey to the EU. "The subsidy will only serve to compensate an unforeseen lack of sales. As the funding covers 50% of that risk, my enterprise has become much more attractive to investors. In fact, I have already found one."

Organic and FairWild

To deal with resale and financial handling, Jasmijn set up a Dutch limited company. "I will take care of marketing and branding from the Netherlands. Another plan is to expand my company's range of products that combat deforestation, including vanilla, pepper and oysternuts, which have not yet been introduced to Europe. The whole range is of course Organic and FairWild certified to prevent overproduction and preserve nature."

Would you like to learn more about the available funding options?

Jasmine Bee received Technical Assistance through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), a programme of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) in partnership with Atradius DSB and PwC Netherlands that was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To learn more about our potential role in realising your international ambitions, please contact us.