The Pure Blossom Hives, a local bee keeping and honey production group, described as being born out of a spirit of determination, dedication and innovation but with a potential to fail, has been formally registered as a cooperative since its inception in December 2008.
Pure Blossom Hives Cooperative (PBHC) Society Limited, now the legal trading name of the business, was the brainchild of Cedric Joseph, a previous owner of a small bee and honey production operation.
According to President of the PBHC Jahmackonen Benoit, the cooperative was formed from humble beginnings at a time when the future of the venture was not certain or guaranteed.
Benoit said that, “we saw this as a viable venture in a time when bees were facing serious problems from pests to disease to invaders that were taking over colonies in different regions all over the world. And at the very first meeting it was made clear to all members that this was a venture that had potential to fail. This was a venture that was not a sure bet. It was not something that you could just throw money at and expect high returns in a matter of weeks, in a matter of months.”
“… Because we were dealing with an industry that had difficulties, had challenges. The bees themselves were suffering from certain diseases and we had to address that first and foremost,” Benoit stated.
According to the president, the first business plan for the cooperative was convened in January 2009.
He said that as a requisite structure of cooperatives, all members were trained in the fields of bee production and business courses in order to be able to effectively manage the cooperative.
“Over an 18 month period, all the members attended various training programs and various workshops conducted by various NGO’S … In order to develop our skills in project writing, in planning, in marketing and in bee keeping of course.. and I am proud to say that over these 18 months we have grown from of group of being bee lovers to a group that boasts several moderately proficient bee keepers…,” Benoit stated.
Benoit was proud to report a significant growth in group membership and bee production since the inauguration of the group.
“We have seen growth in our membership and more importantly we have seen growth in the number of hives that we now care for; from only handful 18 months ago, Pure Blossom Hives now boast over 50 hives and growing,” Benoit said.
Parliamentary representative for the Roseau Central constituency Norris Prevost, who addressed the ceremony, congratulated the newly registered cooperative and advised the practice good governance.
Commissioner of the Cooperatives Mariet Canoville who read a speech from the Minister for Social Services and Community Development Gloria Shillingford, also congratulated the team.
In her speech, Shillingford encouraged members to make good use of the business and aspire to expand the business to not only supply the local but regional market.
Canoville, who also presented brief comments, insisted that members make their investments a worthy one. She noted, “A cooperative is not a social club.”
According to officials, members invested a total of $60,000 into initializing the business.
The registration ceremony took place at the Public Service Training Center Thursday afternoon.