A company managed to certify as organic and export the honey obtained by 95 small beekeepers from the Impenetrable Chaco
02 Aug 2022
We are talking about the case of Argenmieles, a beekeeping firm that was born in 2012 and is part of the Grúas San Blas group, an OIA-certified company.
With good will, the articulation of the public and private sectors is something possible. There is a case, surely among many others, that confirms that it is possible. And the good thing is that this is happening in a very neglected area from the economic, productive and above all social: the Impenetrable.
Grúas San Blas organized, together with the cooperatives of the region and with the support of the government of the province of Chaco, a commercial outlet for the honey that is produced there, in the middle of the mountain.
But it is not only limited to that. What they did was reconvert the producers, mostly small-scale, towards certified organic beekeeping, taking advantage of the fact that in that region there are not many other alternatives and that above all “they have the asset,” said Lucas Andersen, director of the signature It refers to the fact that phytosanitary products are not applied in the area, as is the case in other areas of the country where honey coexists with agricultural-livestock production. This made the productive transformation viable.
Argenmieles started out as a trader who only bought and sold, then added packaging and production and thus covered the entire chain. Then the possibility of developing this project with producers and the provincial state arose.
“We have been working with the province of Chaco for four years. The producers are 95 organized in 7 cooperatives, which we were transforming from conventional to organic” said Andersen. Then he explained that “our role was to guarantee that this honey was going to be bought and marketed and that is why we were able to present it at the Bio-Farm that was held this year in Europe.”
The Chaco government provided resources, such as personnel to monitor production, training, financing cooperatives, and help in converting beekeepers to organic. Among other contributions, the construction of communal extraction rooms “coordinated by the provincial government with credits from the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank)” stands out.
“The process was very interesting and more and more people want to join. We have more demand for honey than is produced and the producer is realizing that the reconversion does not imply a significant extra cost and that the price is much higher than that of conventional honey, since there is a consolidated demand for honey. organic in value markets like the European Union,” said Andersen.
The Argenmieles referent said that, in terms of values, the difference obtained is 20% to 30% depending on the time of year. Regarding the product, he stressed that although the flavor of the honey is similar in this product, the production method can be certified without the use of agrochemicals. “The lot is traced from the apiary to the drum,” he said.
He then added that this productive and commercial development is helping to improve the quality of life of many producers who have no other alternative and who also have few hives. “The average in the area is 300 hives, but in the country it is 800/1,000 per company. In addition, in many cases it is the second activity, for them it is their way of life”.
Andersen added that the company Grúas San Blas plans to continue propping up this project as they believe there is much room for growth in production and the market. “We have to develop new suppliers, today we export to 18/19 destinations and we want to go for more,” he said.
Source: Bichos de Campo