Gorilla Honey launches fundraising campaign on Indiegogo
May 15, 2013
Gorilla Honey is a highly innovative project aimed at conserving the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas and their rainforest habitat in the volcanic Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. The project aims to produce and market small limited edition jars of natural honey internationally, in support of mountain gorilla conservation.
Gorilla Honey Ltd, the start up company behind this project has just launched an online fundraising campaign on the popular global platform, Indiegogo. The company is raising $57,000 to fund the first production run of its batch of honey this coming second harvest season that will see 1,000 jars shipped to the US. Gorilla enthusiasts will be able to secure their share of the first batch of Gorilla Honey by pledging funds to the campaign.
By producing these limited edition honey jars, Gorilla Honey aims to conserve the critically endangered mountain gorillas by;
- Providing a sustainable livelihood for smallholder beekeepers living along the edge of the Virunga volcanic mountains in order to alleviate their dependence on the rainforest and reduce their competition for rainforest resources with mountain gorillas.
- Donating part of the proceeds from the sales of the jars towards the direct protection and conservation of the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda.
In partnership with the International Gorilla Conservation Program, Gorilla Honey will help to increase IGCP’s efforts in tracking the family groups of mountain gorillas, securing the park and educating the bee-keeping communities on gorilla conservation. Commenting on the enterprise, Anna Behm Masozera, interim Director of the IGCP, said:
"On behalf of the critically-endangered mountain gorillas and the beekeepers who are their neighbors, we are pleased to be a partner in the development of Gorilla Honey. Gorilla honey has the potential to fuel economic development for the beekeepers and in turn fuel the conservation of mountain gorillas."
Gorilla Honey also partners with UNICOOPAV, a union of beekeeping cooperatives located at the base of the Volcanoes National Park, to source high quality raw bulk comb honey. Mark Rwangarinde, Vice President of UNICOOPAV, commented:
“The Gorilla Honey enterprise will link the smallholder beekeepers with the international customers and provide a profitable market for their honey.”
Gorilla Honey Ltd initially targets the key US market as it seeks to test the international market and take advantage of the favourable US honey import regulations for Rwanda under the AGOA trade agreement. In the long term however, the company plans to market in Europe and Asia through online retail stores. The company also aims to engage other smallholder beekeeping communities living along the greater Virunga region in DRC and Uganda in the production of honey as demand increases.
About Gorilla Honey Ltd.
Gorilla Honey Ltd is a social enterprise registered in Kigali, Rwanda, and involved in the production and export of honey from the greater Virunga region encompassing Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC with a mission to promote and support mountain gorilla conservation.
The development of the enterprise has been mentored by H2O Venture Partners Limited with financial support from the Research Into Use (RIU) programme of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.