Aseda, a producer and distributor of honey, chocolate and shea butter, has a mission to protect and build bee populations globally in the face of declining numbers in the developed world.
Co-founder Bessie McIntosh says, “Bees are disappearing in the developed world at an alarming rate. Here in the US, we have seen an overall decline of at least 30% of our bee population. Gone. In some areas, we have lost over 70% of our precious bees. It has gotten to the point that farmers in the US import bees from Australia to tend to our country’s pollinating needs.”
The problem, which is not well known or understood, could potentially lead to an existential crisis. Many of our food crops require a pollinator, Bessie explained to me, and if we don’t have enough bees, we won’t have enough food.
Bessie partnered with Anthony Baron Kirk to launch the company. Their core business activity is operating co-ops located in a protected forest.
She says, “Our efforts in this region help maintain the protection of the land, which in turn insulates the bees from the chemical problems of modern man. This situation allows the bees to live wild, as nature intended. Their population is thriving and the area benefits from biodiversity.”
Aseda brings dark, raw honey to market from this forest and provides education to its customers both about the honey and the bees.
“Our job is to take this huge undertaking and hand it out in sweet, bite size pieces,” Bessie says. “When you buy a jar of honey or shea butter or fine chocolate from Aseda, you are directly supporting the growth of our healthy bee population.”
Aseda operates with a traditional retail model with an online presence as well. In addition to Aseda Wild Honey in jars, the company offers Honey Dozen Energy Packs used by athletes. The product line also includes Aseda Shea Butter and Aseda Fine Chocolate, which is sold only through a buyers club to “Aseda Tribe Members.”
Aseda recently created the Aseda Foundation Program to support humanitarian improvements for the villages where the beekeepers live. “Our first project will be drilling wells for the villages,” Bessie says.
For Aseda, building a profitable business is only part of the picture. “We believe the markers for success includes how a company effects the people involved and the planet as a whole, not just profit. Our business model includes protecting land that is still pristine, not touched by pollutants and growing healthy bee populations, which in turn promotes biodiversity of the area. Biodiversity equals lush abundance. More bees, more pollination, more plants, more food,” Bessie says.
Aseda hopes to expand globally. “Our ‘10000 feet view’ of our plan is to continue to build global bridges through land preservation, co-ops and growing healthy bee populations in as many wild, non-gmo, pristine, wilderness areas we discover.”
Bessie hopes that by producing raw, non-processed food that fewer contaminants will end up in what we eat, that the planet and people will benefit. With a focus on bees, she really hopes to protect the entire food supply.
“We are all in this together. Together we are changing the now for a viable future. To me, that is the sweetest idea,” Bessie concludes.
On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Bessie will join me for a live discussion about Aseda and its work to protect bees. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Aseda:
Aseda, LLC is a Utah company that sources a sustainably harvested, raw, unique, non-gmo, delicious brown black honey that is found in only one region of the world. Aseda sources a sustain-ably harvested shea butter that is from old growth trees instead of plantations. Aseda creates functional food products for the body and skin utilizing these nutrient dense ingredients. Aseda created and supports the Aseda Bee Keepers Co-operative, made up of 27 villages located in Ghana Africa. This work is directly responsible for growing a thriving bee population in a pristine and ancient forest, located in Ghana, Africa. Aseda supports a Women-Run Shea Butter Co-operative, harvesting from old growth shea trees located in the same region of Ghana and a multi-family farms Co-operative located in the upper Amazon of Peru sourcing cacao. Currently Aseda’s product offerings include Aseda Wild Honey Jars, the Aseda Honey Dozen Energy Pack, Aseda Shea Butter, and Aseda Fine Chocolate. Aseda is working to build out the Aseda Foundation, a 501c3 created to support Co-operatives in need of humanitarian improvements. Aseda means gratitude in the language Twi.
Bessie McIntosh is an activator, a connector, a mother, a healer, an entrepreneur and an Earth worshiping goddess. Bessie is the Co-Creator and the Vice President of Aseda™; a triple bottom line company based in Salt Lake City, Utah and Ghana, Africa. Aseda™ created a bee keeping co-operative that supports 27 villages, is growing a thriving bee population while protecting an ancient, pristine forest, inspires to connect global bridges throughout the world and founded the Aseda Foundation, a 501c3. “It’s all about the bees and the sweetness of honey. Bringing people together, ultimately, that’s what I do.” Her passion for her company oozes from her being, like the sweet, medicinal honey from Aseda’s hives in Ghana. She is working to bring awareness to solve some of our generation’s most devastating problems; the vanishing of the bees, the need for natural food and clean water, and humans’ disconnection from nature and each other. “By introducing this marvelous honey to the world, we are growing a healthy bee population, have the opportunity to teach the importance of real food for your body and the health of our planet, and we are building bridges to connect our global village. I love how I do and be!”