They extends the beekeeping frontier

San Jose, Nov 6th (CSF)- For the second consecutive year the beekeepers of the cooperative without borders Copiasuro R.L. Guatemala have maintained their export volumes to Europe.  The sales manager Alvaro Almengor stated that this November the cooperative exported 16 containers of 21 tons, equal to 336t of honey to Europe.

94% of their total production is sold in European markets under the Fairtrade Certification. But this year, a small percentage of the honey harvest of Copiasuro R.L. went to the Central American market (Costa Rica).

Copiasuro R.L. exports monofloral honey to France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The honey harvested by beekeepers from Copiasuro R.L. is sold in supermarkets in Europe under well-known brands such as Fairtrade Original in the Netherlands or Conapi in Italy. Copiasuro R.L is the most important beekeeper cooperative in the country. In 2013 it was recognized by the agricultural export sector as the best export company of the year. And in 2009 it won the Apimondia bronze medal.

In 2016 the beekeeper cooperative exported 18 containers of honey to Europe. Highlighting France as a new destination of its exports.

Extending their reach

Despite the external conditions that affect beekeepers in Guatemala, Copiasuro R.L. continues to train rural families in beekeeping for their social and economic development, as well as for environmental sustainability and the sustainable development of the region.

This year was the seventh successful edition of the beekeeping school in which a total of 40 people interested in the process, both men and women, learned about the production of honey. The school seeks to encourage the activity of beekeeping in the communities and also gain new associates that will expand their productivity and influence into new regions in the country. "This year forty new members entered. This means between 2,500 and 3000 new hives for the cooperative, or 2 more containers of honey," said Alvaro Almengor. He added that every year the amount of producers in other regions grows, not only in Catarina San Marcos, but also in Huehuetenango, Quiché, Sololá, Chenaltenango, amongst others.

The school prepares the participants to meet national and international standards for beekeeping such as quality certifications and environmental and manufacturing beekeeping practices. Despite the large attendance that the school has every year, Copiasuro R.L. has not yet achieved the institutional support necessary to qualify them for the category of a private educational institution.

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New infrastructure

Thanks to the joint project management of institutions like the IDB, USAID and CATIE, Copiasuro R.L.'s beekeepers have new infrastructure.

There is now new specialized equipment for the honey harvesting room, a mini packaging machine, and an addition on the storage warehouse. "Before our warehouse had capacity for 7 containers maximum. With the addition to the warehouse, the capacity has increased to 17 containers, thus improving the management opportunities of our enterprise," explained the Manager of Copiasuro R.L.

30 years strong

Founded 30 years ago, Copiasuro R.L. began with 22 members and 330 hives. Now they have 250 beekeepers and more than 27,000 hives throughout the Guatemalan Highlands. Copiasuro R.L. is committed to bettering market access and improving the quality of life of the beekeepers and their families in their respective communities.

The challenge today is to maintain their quality certificates. "We have built up the quality and safety of our product and have incorporated it into our work as a way of life. This is something intangible from the cooperative that we proudly celebrate today," said Almengor.

nl 06.11.17

  translated by Jesse Trace