Joreen Wanini Kinyua established Joreen Honey, a company that specializes in producing and selling organic honey and training farmers on beekeeping.
She decided to venture into this business after realizing that her family, who were regular honey consumers, had limited access to quality honey.
To make her dream a reality, she enrolled in a beekeeping course and utilized her college pocket money savings to establish the business in 2019.
Here is her story as told by YEA:
Joreen and her family have been consuming honey for a long time. However, the poor quality or adulterated honey has often disappointed them, resulting in financial losses.
Joreen noticed a gap in the market for quality honey after experiencing the frustration of purchasing low-quality or adulterated honey for her family.
This led her to enrol in a beekeeping and honey processing course at Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI). After completing the training, she established Joreen Honey in 2019.
Joreen invested Sh. 150,000 into her business, which she had saved from her college pocket money. Joreen reportedly generates up to Sh. 400,000 in revenue during a profitable month.
Her business has also created job opportunities, employing 10 individuals.
Joreen’s team plays a vital role in the honey production process, which includes aggregation, sourcing of raw materials, production, packaging, labelling, and distribution.
To ensure high-quality products, Joreen sources her raw materials from various regions in Kenya, such as Baringo, West Pokot, Nanyuki, Laikipia, and Meru.
She also sources honey from Tanzania and Uganda, where honey production is of top-notch quality.
Besides producing and selling organic honey, Joreen also offers training to farmers and individuals interested in beekeeping at a fee of Ksh 1,000.
“We test our honey during aggregation to ensure that it is pure. The chemical tested on pure honey retains its brown colour, but if adulterated, the chemical turns orange. We test every honey that we buy to ensure that we sell quality,” she explained.
Once the honey is tested, it is sent to KIRDI, where it undergoes pressing, filtering, and refining. After that, it is packaged and labelled, making it ready for sale.
“The distributor and our sales agents later on take the product to the market and sell to retail stores, mini markets and individuals,” Joreen mentioned.
It is worth noting that Joreen Honey started its operations in 2020, just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to an increase in demand for honey.
During the pandemic period, many people consumed a concoction made from ginger, garlic and lemon called ‘dawa’, and they would use honey to sweeten it.
“For bulk orders, a kilo costs Sh. 350 with a minimum quantity order of 1 ton, while 500g costs Sh. 350,” Joreen said.
Joreen has faced challenges in her business, including receiving adulterated honey from some farmers.
To overcome this, she provides training to farmers on proper beekeeping practices and works with trusted suppliers to ensure the quality of her raw materials.
She also conducts thorough testing on all honey that comes through her company to ensure its purity and quality before it is processed, packaged, and labelled for sale.
Despite the challenges, Joreen remains committed to providing high-quality, organic honey to her customers.
“The demand for honey surpasses the supply, so many try to increase capacity by adulteration. There is also the fact that honey is seasonal. Besides, aggregation is expensive – logistically, you tend to use a lot of resources to aggregate a small amount of honey, leading to inconsistent pricing and sometimes very small profit margins,” she said.
She has been recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements with numerous awards.
She was named Youth of the Year in the Top 35 Under 35 Youths in Kenya, and her company won the FOYA Global award in the manufacturing category.
In addition, Joreen has been nominated for the Zuri Awards 2021 in both the entrepreneurship and agriculture categories.