Herbs & Honey has always been connected to nature preservation. In 2012, the venture began when we starting fighting to preserve 500 hectares of forest in northern Armenia where a mining company intended to start activities that would destroy the surrounding flora and fauna (see www.teghut.am). Our goal was to provide alternative economic solutions, besides working for the mining company, to the local population. For two years, we benevolently collected their organic honey and transported it to Armenia’s capital Yerevan for selling.
Building an Alternative Future (BAF)
The same group of activists then founded an association in Geneva called Building An Alternative Future (BAF) to unite like-minded people around environmental issues in Armenia. The particular goal was to develop a structured organisation with the mission of creating decent employment through increased sales of honey. In 2015, we focused our efforts on Ashotsk – the poorest region of Armenia with the highest unemployment rate and richest biodiversity. With the support of our friends in Switzerland, we provided the necessary financial and technical means to families in need so they could produce pure alpine honey and wild herbs for tea.
In addition to helping families produce, we accompanied them to the end of the process by exporting their products to Switzerland, selling them and returning the income to Armenia to re-invest in new development projects. Thus, the Herbs & Honey project was born. To create more employment and involve more families, we decided to open our Gyumri-based tea-shop where we serve herbs, honey and other natural products produced by our beneficiaries, as well as healthy meals and drinks.
Learn more www.alternativefuture.ch
IN LOVE WITH GYUMRI
Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. Being one of the most ancient settlements in Armenia with the history of 3000 years, Gyumri is a significant location to visit and admire. Its name has been changed several times.