Haitian BEE Products
Vetiver Solutions has been working with a farming cooperative in Moreau, Haiti since 2017. Our farmer-partners in southern Haiti are incredibly excited about the opportunity to sell their products in a larger market space than is currently available to them. These farmers raise bee populations in a mountainous, remote region of Haiti, do not use any pesticides on their bee products, and produce all-natural raw honey without any kind of additives. This 100% pure raw Haitian honey has a distinct flavor, as the bees typically pollinate the flowers of citrus trees and bee-bee trees — which are unique to Haiti. This flavor is unlike anything typically found locally, with more complex flavors and richer texture. In order to assure a high-quality product, our honey is purchased in person during our frequent trips to Haiti — while we simultaneously work with the community on infrastructure and economic development projects — and transport back to Minnesota for packaging, testing, labelling, and sale.
BEESWAX LIP BALM
In addition to honey, we have partnered with the Moreau Farmer’s Association to supply us with beeswax for lip balm products. Currently we source our other ingredients — like shea butter and essential oils — from fair trade sellers in other countries; however we hope to someday produce all of our ingredients in Haiti. While our raw ingredients are produced in Haiti and elsewhere, our lip balms are all made, packaged, and labeled in Minnesota by the Vetiver Solutions team. This model ensures that we can support the Farmer’s Association in Moreau with a consistent source of income, while staying true to our Minnesota roots. Beeswax is currently a waste product for most Haitian; thus, our lip balm products not only promote sustainable use of all bee products, but also represent another income source for our partners in Moreau. In the future, we hope to expand to other cosmetic and home goods products that use beeswax as a main input, to grow our product lines and provide reliable support for development initiatives in Moreau.
VETIVER EXFOLIATING SOAP
Coming Summer of 2019! Our team is excited to announce the launch of a Haitian soap product. At this time we are working on the development and testing phase to assure our customer a high quality and eco-friendly product. The soaps will feature Haitian beeswax and Fair trade certified base oils. We have also infused our vetiver fibers into the soap to give it exfoliating properties. The texture of the fibers makes vetiver an ideal exfoliant for your skin. The vetiver grass is purchased directly from farmers in Moreau, Haiti and processed into fibers in the village. Our ingredients are all-natural, as well as environmentally and socially conscious. Fill out our interest form at the bottom of our webpage and be the first to know when our soap will be available.
How Your Purchase Helps Haitian Farmers
In Haiti, over 75% of the population lives below the poverty line, earning under $2 per day. Beekeeping in Haiti has been a tradition for rural farmers for decades and has the potential to create a sustainable change in the lives of Haitian farmers. Last year only $16,000 of honey was exported from Haiti; however, there is enormous potential to grow this export market. Further, beekeeping in Haiti has more potential than just economically empowering rural subsistence farmers in Haiti. By making beekeeping profitable, we are also creating an additional value for the trees the bees pollinate.
In a country that is over 90% deforested, a massive effort is necessary to prevent further damage to tree populations and to promote long-term investments in soil health. Beekeeping can play a major role in this conservation effort by giving trees more economic value for Haitian farmers — who typically cut down trees for use and sale as charcoal. By investing in fledgling beekeeping operations, we can prevent farmers from cutting down more trees, help them plant new forests, and ultimately improve the health of their local ecosystems. Lastly, by increasing the size and productivity of bee populations around Moreau, we hope to improve local crop yields and soil health, especially for individuals who rely on citrus trees for their livelihood.
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If you have any comments or questions, we'd love to speak with you. Please don't hesitate to reach out!