Ruaha Farm (T) Ltd: Engaging Local Beekeeping Communities in Tanzania
The chief executive officer of Ruaha Farm (T) Ltd (Ruaha Farm), in Iringa, Tanzania, established his honey business, in 2012. The company's business model relied on the engagement and empowerment of neighbouring communities of low-income beekeepers, creating mutually beneficial relationships with local beekeeping communities in the Iringa region. The business model was unique, asset-light, and scalable. In contrast with an integrated business model in beekeeping, where a company typically owned all assets (land, beehives, processing machinery, and routes to market), Ruaha Farm not only commercialized the honey from its own farms but also reached out to all beekeepers in the region to support them in the production and collection of their honey. By 2019, amid the challenges of managing the company's relationship with the beekeeper communities, the chief executive officer had to consider how to increase Ruaha Farm's annual production volume from 10 to 100 tons in five years. Wim Vanhaverbeke is affiliated with University of Surrey.