Ethiopian Honey


Funding USAID Ethiopia

Project Ethiopia AGP-AMDe

Date 2012 – Feb 2014

Results Private Public Partnership (PPP) between Parodi
Apicultura. Zenbaba Cooperative Union
and USAID in plant and sales

Lead consultant Jim Krigbaum

Category Poverty Alleviation -
Economic Development – Agriculture

Ethiopian Honey Case Study
Ethiopia historically exports a small amount of honey and other bee products to the international market. 763MT exported in 2012 represents a solid increase from 520MT in 2011, with the majority of exports being shipped to neighboring Sudan. The potential for export performance is yet to be achieved, however. AGP-AMDe is working towards addressing this opportunity by opening new markets, improving value addition, processing capacity and building service delivery for rural beekeepers. One example of this approach came as a result of the Dubai Gulf Food Show in February 2013. From this, AGP-AMDe facilitated the visit to Ethiopia of Parodi Apicultura, the third largest honey and beeswax buyer in the world.

Parodi Apicultura is a world leader in the provision of honey. A family owned company, Parodi Apicultura’s vision is “to be the global leader in the provision of honey from different origins.” In keeping with its global vision, the company recently launched the promotion of modern beekeeping practices in Africa through the Parodi Foundation. The Foundation’s intent is to develop a modern supply chain of honey from Africa to markets around the world.

Parodi Apicultura wants to establish presence in Ethiopia in order to open new sourcing channels, diversify its offering and offset the decrease in supply from Argentina. AGP-AMDe facilitated Parodi’s visit to three private sector processing facilities, one FCU, and one PC facility, as well as meetings with additional private operators, one FCU, two associations and the Ministry of Trade (MOT). Parodi’s Managing Director for Europe said he “intends to buy Ethiopian honey from Zenbaba Cooperative Union and other operators this year.” Parodi is interested not only to invest in honey but also in Ethiopia, including upgrading the beekeeping and honey processing technology and providing technical assistance on international standards to suppliers.

In a MOU with USAID’s AGP-AMDe, Parodi Apicultura aims to source 2000 MT of honey and other bee products each year from Zenbaba and other Ethiopian operators for export. Agreement with Parodi will open new international markets from Ethiopian honey, including the US and Europe. The MOU will further commit Parodi’s Foundation to invest in building Zembaba’s technical capacity by providing modern machinery for processing honey. To support this process, Parodi’s experts will provide technical support to the producers in the form of modern beehives and equipment, and practical, hands-on training. Parodi will establish a new company in Ethiopia to engage in honey processing including local partners.

The 20/20DC efforts had a significant immediate impact as outlined by the graphic from the International Trade Center (ITC). There is a significant fall from the peeks of 2013/2014. This reflects several factors including lack of focus on sustainability of the project. Corners were cut on supporting the factory with design changes to meet budgets but not the demands of the market.

The 20/20DC team’s efforts ended in early 2014 due to budget and project focus and administrative issues. While we are not certain that our continued involvement would have resulted in continued success, we are certain that steps could have been taken to retain and expand market share.

Unlike the quinoa story where success was beyond the timeframe of the project, taking years to cultivate a commercially viable volume and market penetration, this “Success” was short-term as efforts within the project were focused on immediate results and not sustainability.