Legendary long distance athlete, Haile Gebresilassie, whose business portfolio is fast expanding, has now ventured into the apiculture sector with his latest honey production already earning vast interests from European nations.
Having delivered his first product in the local market labeled Haile Mar (Haile Honey), the former Atlanta and Sydney Olympics Gold Medalist is warming up for major exports to European countries including Germany, the Netherlands.
Haile told The Reporter that he is producing the honey from his 200 hectares of coffee farm in Sheka area of southern Ethiopia which he describes as one of the “best and high quality” origins of honey in the country.
He, however, indicated that it would take at least a year to officially commence exports. “Important preconditions and requirements that are highly required by customers in Europe based on their standard have to be met before we start export,” Haile said
He explained that sample products of local honey which he earlier sent to Europe was already welcomed by European customers.
“We have already sent our personnel there to review the market condition. After tasting our honey they gave us positive feedback and found it to be high-quality honey. Hence, they have given us the green light that enables us to proceed,” he told The Reporter.
According to Haile, his customers particularly from Germany and the Netherlands demand high standards which includes packaging, labeling, transportation means and related issues to insure the quality of the honey. Speaking of the potential of the honey business Haile said, “We believe that there is a huge potential which remains untapped. In addition, it can bring in the much needed foreign currency, which already is a serious problem in the country.”