"High-risk beekeeping operation"

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Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
Platinum
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That and maybe the very nature of beekeepers being a bit of individualists, always trying to do things themselves....
Yep. I see that with the media links. I deliberately put up ones that show a bit of initiative and maybe an alternative method to selling product or telling a story and usually the end result is that the innovator gets shot down. Also tried using this platform as an online marketing tool for those that have no clue how to create a website, no interest at all.

These solutions are minimal effort, minimal cost, yet there are people saying they cant sell their honey. It definitely feels like you can lead the horse to water.
 
5,576
5,952
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Uh Huh .... there is no doubt we ae all highly competent individualist's running businesses producing a product that world is clamouring at our door wanting to buy ..... so why would I want to divulge to my neighbour my recipe for success.

Yeah right ..... if that was the case, why does the country have an oversupply of honey with reputedly in excess of 30,000,000kg's sitting in sheds unsold.
There is no doubt we are very good at getting our bees to produce the stuff, but we are too busy doing that to actually concentrate on the important stuff ..... of ensuring we run our business's at a profit.


Imagine if you could contract that side of things out , a bit like extracting ,..... 500 small time producers contracting out the selling of their honey through a small team of highly qualified people who have a unified brand, supported by the producers and returning profit or dividend to the producers .....

It's not rocket science and highly achievable if the producers loosened up their ego's a little bit.
 
245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
Uh Huh .... there is no doubt we ae all highly competent individualist's running businesses producing a product that world is clamouring at our door wanting to buy ..... so why would I want to divulge to my neighbour my recipe for success.

Yeah right ..... if that was the case, why does the country have an oversupply of honey with reputedly in excess of 30,000,000kg's sitting in sheds unsold.
There is no doubt we are very good at getting our bees to produce the stuff, but we are too busy doing that to actually concentrate on the important stuff ..... of ensuring we run our business's at a profit.


Imagine if you could contract that side of things out , a bit like extracting ,..... 500 small time producers contracting out the selling of their honey through a small team of highly qualified people who have a unified brand, supported by the producers and returning profit or dividend to the producers .....

It's not rocket science and highly achievable if the producers loosened up their ego's a little bit.
Our own version of Fontera... a bee collective. I can just see yellow and black striped milk eerrr honey tankers on farm roads. It does make sense though.
 
193
178
Southland
Experience
Commercial
Uh Huh .... there is no doubt we ae all highly competent individualist's running businesses producing a product that world is clamouring at our door wanting to buy ..... so why would I want to divulge to my neighbour my recipe for success.

Yeah right ..... if that was the case, why does the country have an oversupply of honey with reputedly in excess of 30,000,000kg's sitting in sheds unsold.
There is no doubt we are very good at getting our bees to produce the stuff, but we are too busy doing that to actually concentrate on the important stuff ..... of ensuring we run our business's at a profit.


Imagine if you could contract that side of things out , a bit like extracting ,..... 500 small time producers contracting out the selling of their honey through a small team of highly qualified people who have a unified brand, supported by the producers and returning profit or dividend to the producers .....

It's not rocket science and highly achievable if the producers loosened up their ego's a little bit.
We used to have a co op.....
 

mischief

Gold
45
17
Putaruru
Experience
Hobbyist
Sounds like its time you guys all got together and created your own co-op.

....also sounds like its time to step back and take another look at...'this is the way we have always done it....'

I've learnt that there is- make money and then there is- find ways so you dont have to spend what you made.
Maybe its time to look at things from that angle as well.
 

Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
Platinum
10,294
4,814
Sounds like its time you guys all got together and created your own co-op.

....also sounds like its time to step back and take another look at...'this is the way we have always done it....'
Its come up a few times, but it never gets any traction. The company that tried it turned into a honey marketer when people who joined initially, pulled out.
 
245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
Its come up a few times, but it never gets any traction. The company that tried it turned into a honey marketer when people who joined initially, pulled out.
Why did people pull out?
Was talking to a client who turns over several million a year selling meat. Mentioned the honey stored in nz etc.
She was wondering what it would take to add honey to the mix as already adds cheese etc as side products. Was also wondering what had stopped previous coops etc.
 

Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
Platinum
10,294
4,814
because the moment they got a better offer from someone else, the whole system collapsed.
 
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NickWallingford

BOP Club
149
211
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Well, just to put some context on it... There was a co-op for selling honey in the 1920s that collapsed about 1930 when too many of the co-op members did not comply with their assurance of providing supplies of honey. Another co-op formed in the 1930s (Percy Hillary, Sir Ed's father was a major mover) and did OK for a few years. It got bogged down in a somewhat political squabble, as the co-op had imported, in a very bad season, some Australian honey to fill existing orders. That co-op was dissolved in the late 1930s.

At that point the Internal Marketing Division (IMD) took (a governmental) role in the marketing of honey both NZ and overseas. It could not strictly be called a co-op, but for many purposes sort of acted like one, selling the honey and pooling the results for payout. In the early 1950s the Honey Marketing Authority took over, working in a similar manner to the IMD - but with the assurance of beekeeper elected members to provide better control and confidence. The HMA remained in place (with an export monopoly) until the end of the 1970s. Upon its demise, a good portion of the equalisation fund/seals levy that had accrued were loaned to a newly formed (mostly SI) co-op. Those moneys were repaid (they form the capital of the NZ Honey Industry Trusts) and the Co-op traded successfully for quite some number of years. I do not know why it was wound up - perhaps someone else could clue me in?

My own take on it? Any form of 'co-op' is going to need enough funds to start so that there can be confidence in an initial payout to beekeepers, early enough to provide adequate planning. Only after all the 'pool' honeys are sold would the final realisations be paid out. For the IMD and HMA, the buffer capital was either 1% government loan money and/or the money collected as the seal's levy. For a co-op to survive it would need to having marketing 'nous' beyond average...

A co-op needs more than co-operative intent. It needs commitment to the organisation and confidence in its capabilities to sell all the honey at the best realisations. It needs the full confidence of the supplying beekeepers that it will be accountable and best work on their behalf.
 
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31
45
Canterbury
Experience
Hobbyist
An issue with the coop model was that it had to buy all the honey from their members.
Many members sold their best honey to private packers that paid better and then sold all their rubbish to the Coop. It is impossible to make a premium product from rubbish honey....
the Coop was forced to sell at any price rather than to set the price for their products.....
 
269
198
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
An issue with the coop model was that it had to buy all the honey from their members.
Many members sold their best honey to private packers that paid better and then sold all their rubbish to the Coop. It is impossible to make a premium product from rubbish honey....
the Coop was forced to sell at any price rather than to set the price for their products.....

To my knowledge the reason why the co op was wound up, hasn't even featured in any of the responses. I was not a member of the co op, but I think the appropriate people to comment on as to why the co op was wound up, are people that were members of the co op at the end.
 
5,576
5,952
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
As I understand it ..... Comvita bought out the Co-Op ..... and then broke it up .... a classic Corporate raider tactic.

I stand to be corrected.
 
5,576
5,952
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
That aside ..... the last few days I been touting my wares around My Globe.

The difference in pricing is interesting and indicative of a rising market.
What the heck happened that things should change overnight ..... the fact that a good auction only needs three players ....

Covid vaccine getting rolled out ...... Aussies are blending Dew with Manuka ...... NZ's hosting ladies soccer in two years ..... or maybe the day just had some stunning early autumn colour and people were feeling some positive vibes ....
 
245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
That aside ..... the last few days I been touting my wares around My Globe.

The difference in pricing is interesting and indicative of a rising market.
What the heck happened that things should change overnight ..... the fact that a good auction only needs three players ....

Covid vaccine getting rolled out ...... Aussies are blending Dew with Manuka ...... NZ's hosting ladies soccer in two years ..... or maybe the day just had some stunning early autumn colour and people were feeling some positive vibes ....
What is this my globe you speak of?
 
5,576
5,952
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
I think that is a rather simplistic answer, there was a reason the co-op was on the market in the first place.
I was not a member so not privy to the reason why.
You're right Dennis .... simplistic ..... but then I'm a pretty simple man ..... and to go into more detail might open channels for libel ....
but it was ironic that at the time of the co ops demise a new company started up with a an order book full of potential customers .... but we won't go there, eh.
Honey company, Co Op, Collective, call it what you will .... I still like the idea of a marketing arm that benefits Beekeeprs at a grass roots level , an entity that works for the Beekeeper , providing him with a confidence to go into the new season knowing that he has a home for his crop , an entity that has expertise and experience to be out there actively looking for markets, perhaps forming a joint venture with some of the other primary producers to present to the world a united front that when you buy food from New Zealand you are paying for assurity and quality.

There is no doubt I can stick my honey in a pot and slap a label on it and sell it to discerning customers overseas .... the trouble is I have neither the time to do it, nor the money to finance it. But when you spread that investment cost over a couple of hundred operators, all of a sudden it becomes feasable.

I have a dream ..... to go into a season with that sort of confidence behind me would make life .... very simple, and even enjoyable !
 


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