The Market Oriented Rural Enterprise (MORE-Honey) Project – Responsible Business Guidance

Key Outputs:

The project promoted the development of an equitable honey value chain, contributed to market development and promoted economic growth and employment in Uganda. Partner Africa’s role was to provide responsible business support and guidance to engaged companies in the project.
The project engaged with 284 farmers and 4 individual aggregator farmers, with those being 132 male farmers, 4 male aggregators and 53 female farmers across 2 districts in the North region of Uganda, Kitgum and Lamwo and 2 districts in the North-East region of Uganda, Nakapiripirit and Amudat.
30 attendees participated in the launch of the Responsible Business Guide for the Honey and Beeswax sector in Uganda webinar whereby learnings of the project were disseminated.
Self Help Africa (SHA) is an INGO implementing rural development, sustainable food and livelihoods security programmes in nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. SHA, in partnership with Golden Bees Limited (GBL), as the key local commercial partner, and Swienty Commodities ApS (a Danish company) and KahlWax (of Hamburg, Germany) as commercial partners, implemented a commercial honey production project (MORE-Honey) from August 2019 to December 2023 in Uganda, jointly funded by DANIDA through the Danish Market Development Partnerships and Irish Aid.

To fulfil the Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) requirements of the MORE-Honey project, Partner Africa was commissioned by Self Help Africa to undertake a Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) assessment of MORE-Honey project and its commercial partners, as well as to provide on-going technical support in promoting RBC within the MORE-Honey project. As part of this project, Partner Africa executed the following activities:

  • Developed a RBC self-assessment tool based on the principles found in Human Rights Impacts Assessments and the UN Global Compact Self-Assessment methodology adapted to fit the scope and needs of this particular project. The self-assessment focussed on five main risk areas: management, human rights, labour rights, environment, and business ethics.
  • Developed a webinar for project partners on RBC, how to fill in the self-assessment created for this project and supported project partners to fill in the tool.
  • Created a bespoke action plan for the project based on the self-assessment review summarising the main areas of good practice and risks identified and provided recommended steps to overcome identified risks.
  • Conducted an RBC assessment within the honey value chains through field visits in Uganda to build upon the knowledge created through the RBC self-assessment, provide further clarification around risks identified through the RBC assessment and explore areas of the GBL supply chain — namely the aggregator and smallholder farmer actors.
  • Developed a report synthesising the analysis of the field-based assessments of the GBL supply chain identifying main areas of risk across the supply chain, alongside suggested corrective actions including recommendations focussing on immediate human rights risks and next steps required to develop and integrate responsible business practices across the GBL supply chain.
  • Organised a webinar based on the field visit and field visit report on the summary of risks to GBL HQ, aggregators and farmers, together with 5 main recommendation themes and a proposed action plan.
  • Developed a Responsible Business Guide for the Honey and Beeswax sector in Uganda for Africa-based bee product suppliers, international businesses and civil society actors and researchers. The guide includes an overview of risks at each level of the supply chain linked to the ETI Base Code, a risk analysis and mitigation plan of what Ugandan law says, risk scenarios and an easy checklist for the prevention of each risk.
  • Organised a webinar to launch the Responsible Business Guide for the Honey and Beeswax sector in Uganda with project partner speakers Self Help Africa and Golden Bees Limited, and Lush, as a major honey buyer. The webinar aimed to introduce participants to the potential of Uganda’s honey & beeswax industry, highlight the need for RBC and present how the guide can be used to start RBC conversations and prepare stakeholders for the due diligence process.

“The RBC work helped to ensure that key issues facing honey VC actors were highlighted and addressed throughout implementation including things like safety of beekeepers, gender-based discrimination, fair and transparent pricing, and environmental concerns. PA helped to demonstrate to the commercial partners the long-term benefits of getting ‘ahead of the trend’ by proactively addressing these issues in anticipation of changing laws, attitudes, and trading requirements as they expand their business into the international market. The RBC assessment and tool development was a specific time bound activity but incorporating responsible business conduct into all enterprise and market systems development activities and tying it into our work in gender and safeguarding is a long-term, iterative process. The guide PA developed is specifically for the honey value chain in Uganda, but it also offers a template for other value chains and countries. Given SHA’s extensive work in the agricultural sector across Africa, this will be a valuable tool in future programme design and implementation.”

— Alex Reihill, Programme Coordinator (East and Horn of Africa), Self Help Africa

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