A businesswoman from Huddersfield is building beehives in Tanzania – to help improve the lives of women farmers.
Marnie Millard, chief executive of soft drinks firm Nichols Plc, has joined 13 other businesswomen from the UK food industry on the trip to the remote Nou Forest in Tanzania to take part in the Big Beehive Build for charity Farm Africa – a charity helping prosperity to rural communities in East Africa.
Having taken part in the Big Beehive Build 2015, Marnie returned to Tanzania with the aim of beating the team’s 2015 record of building 90 beehives in three days.
The party flew out from Manchester Airport on Monday (Oct 16). After arriving at Kilimanjaro airport, Marnie and her companions travelled south for several hours to reach the small village of Bermi in the Babati District of the Manyara region.
Their mission is to work alongside local women to construct 120 Langstroth beehives in just three days as well as raise £80,000 for Farm Africa. That’s 30 more hives than the group built in three days on their first visit to Tanzania two years ago.
The hives will be used by women from the local 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 300sq km Nou Forest is noted for its biodiversity of plant, animal and insect life, but has suffered severe deforestation in recent years.
Said Marnie: “I am thrilled to be returning to Tanzania and the ladies of Babati to build more hives. It will be fascinating to see how the honey businesses has progressed since our last build two years ago.
“These kinds of projects with Farm Africa are critical to the sustained economic growth in the region and empowering woman to make a financial difference.”
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.
Nichols, based at Merseyside, is best known for producing Vimto but also owns soft drink brands Sunkist, Panda, Fell Good Drinks and Levi Roots. Marnie joined the company in 2012 as managing director of Vimto Soft Drinks and was appointed chief executive in 2013. She was appointed North West regional chair of the CBI in April last year.