This is one of the most innovative cooperatives we've met in terms of developing new products to add value to their raw material. They have developed honey shampoo, honey vinegar, and honey wine. No other businesses in the country are making these products, they are national leaders in pushing value-added manufacturing.
The coop developed their current unique formula for making honey wine through three years of trials. What they now lack is all the equipment necessary to fully launch production. They also need financing for some of the inputs for the wine, and finance for their approval from the health ministry and for their bar code. Their idea is to expand sales in fairs, and orders from large companies who want to give the wine to their employees|| as a holiday bonus. They also plan on expanding their marketing to supermarkets, and hotels and restaurants to begin to capture the tourist market.
Up till now their production has been irregular, depending highly on their ability to borrow equipment from a local university. This loan will allow them to equip a full production center and basic lab to be able to fully launch regular wine production.
In the past they've been selling a few hundred bottles of year mostly based on word of mouth and attending national fairs. With capacity to produce more higher quality wine, they can open up markets in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and specialty food stores. Next year, once their paperwork comes through, they can also begin exporting.|