Ursula Lavery, a Technical and R&D Director Europe at Moy Park is travelling to Nou Forest, Tanzania to support Farm Africa - a charity working to end hunger in eastern Africa - as part of its ‘Big Beehive Build’ team.
Along with 13 other women business leaders from the UK food industry, Ursula will travel to Bermi in the Babati District of the Manyara Region where they are tasked with constructing 120 beehives in just three days.
The hives will be used by women from the local Bermi beekeeping group to build sustainable honey farming businesses that give them a steady income as well as an incentive to protect the forest by planting fruit trees to attract more bees.
The 300 sq km Nou Forest where they live, which is noted for its biodiversity of plant, animal and insect life, has suffered severe deforestation in recent years. Harvesting honey brings local women a new and valuable source of income, which enables them to pay for food, medicines and school fees for their children.
Speaking about the ‘Big Beehive Build’ Challenge, Ursula Lavery said;
“Farm Africa’s commitment to tackling hunger with projects that empower farmers and equip them with the tools to start businesses, is an incredibly worthy cause and I am excited to contribute to their efforts. While the Big Beehive Build is set to be a challenging experience, I'm sure it will also be a rewarding one, and together with the other volunteers I look forward to raising support for this important charity. As a partner to Farm Africa, Moy Park has passionately championed its work through a variety of fundraising activities - from marathons and bake sales to raffles and mountain treks - and I hope to contribute to our company-wide efforts through this unique fundraising challenge."
Regina Alfred, 45, from Bermi village, who will receive some of the beehives the challenge group will build said:
“I didn’t use to have much capability to help my children but I have tried my best to help them get somewhere in life. The money from this year’s honey harvest will pay for my daughter to go to school. I have nothing more to say to the Big Beehive Build team than to say a big thank you.”
Between 14 October 2017 and 14 January 2018 donations in support of the Big Beehive Build will go to Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal that will help young farmers living in western Kenya develop sustainable horticulture businesses. Gifts from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the Government through UK Aid Match, meaning gifts will go twice as far.
The Big Beehive Build is one of the events organised this year as part of the Food for Good campaign, which unites the global food and hospitality industry behind Farm Africa’s vision of a prosperous rural Africa.