Peshawar’s honey market sweetens the lives of millions in the Arab world

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People in a shop selling different varieties of honey at the Pak International Honey Market. (AN photo)
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The outside view of the honey market in Peshawar. (AN photo)
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Peshawar’s Tarnab Farm has hundreds of shops that sell locally produced honey. This picture shows just a few of them. (AN photo)
Updated 02 September 2018
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Peshawar’s honey market sweetens the lives of millions in the Arab world

  • Every year, the market exports honey worth Rs 2.8 billion to Arab countries
  • Exporters claim the honey produced in Pakistan is preferred by people in the Middle East because of its taste and quality

PESHAWAR: Peshawar’s Tarnab Farm is home to Pakistan’s biggest honey market, which exports about 4,000 tons of the commodity worth nearly Rs 2.8 billion ($0.023 billion) to Arab countries every year.
Senior Vice President of the All Pakistan Beekeepers Exporters and Honey Traders Association, Sheikh Gul Bacha, told Arab News on Sunday that about 200 containers, each carrying about 20 tons of honey, are exported to various Arab states, mostly to Saudi Arabia.
“We export bair (jujube) honey, which is produced in September and October, to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in huge quantities. Most people in that region like the product since it does not solidify. Arabs also use honey more frequently because Islamic teachings emphasize its medicinal properties,” he added.
Hajji Nauroz Khan, a honey trader, claimed that while the Arab countries also imported the commodity from other parts of the world, most of their residents preferred honey produced in Pakistan because of its superior quality and taste.
“The honey produced in this country is pure. Arabs like bair honey, and Pakistan supplies it in its purest form. Other countries produce a mix of bair and other plants,” he said.
Khan also informed that honey produced in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan was also brought to the Tarnab Farm market for sale.
“Although honey is also produced in other parts of the country, nearly 85 percent of the people associated with this business are Pashtuns.”
He recalled how the Tarnab Farm market was initially set up with the funding of international donor organizations that were working for Afghan refugees who had migrated to Peshawar after the Soviet invasion of their country. Back then, the market could boast only of a few shops. However, the business expanded and there are hundreds of shops in this vicinity now.
Talking to Arab News, Sher Zaman, a honey exporter, said the government should also help honey traders to export their product to Central Asian markets.
“We don’t have a proper market in Central Asia,” he said. “This is despite the fact that our palusa (rosemary) honey can make a huge impact in the region. This variety of honey is usually people’s first choice in cold countries.”
Zaman said there were four main kinds of honey sold in the market: “bair honey, orange honey, palusa honey and clover honey.” The types of honey varied since honeybees gathered nectar from a variety of different plants in different parts of the country.
Assistant Director of the Trade Development Authority, Zahid Khan, told Arab News that his department periodically organizes workshops and exhibitions for the promotion of local products. “We are not responsible for regulating the honey business,” he added, “but we facilitate the traders.”
He pointed out that the honey business was owned and operated mostly by Afghans, adding: “The ongoing repatriation of Afghans to their native land has also affected this trade in Pakistan. However, local traders have now taken control of the situation and stabilized the honey business.”


Baking contest to whisk up golden business opportunity in Saudi Arabia

Updated 22 February 2019
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Baking contest to whisk up golden business opportunity in Saudi Arabia

  • Jeddah-based concept store Crate teams up with online bake-house Bakery M to find the next top baker
  • The winner of The Golden Whisk competition will receive an all-inclusive brand-building package

JEDDAH: A Saudi baking competition offering a golden business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs has been launched.

Crate, a Jeddah-based concept store which aims to empower enterprising locals, has teamed up with acclaimed online bake-house Bakery M, to find the next top baker through The Golden Whisk contest. 

High startup costs have led many new businesses to operate exclusively online through social media platforms such as Instagram. 

However, Crate, through its flagship store in Jeddah’s Al-Salamah, offers new businesses a retail location to showcase their products to local consumers.

The winner of The Golden Whisk competition will receive an all-inclusive brand-building package created by Crate, Bakery M, and graphic design firm LOUD.

“We proposed the idea to Mariam (Bakery M founder Mariam Alhaddad), and she fell in love with it instantly,” said Crate co-founder and CEO, Rayan Fadul. “Our goal is to provide the winning home-baker with all the right tools to establish their independent brand in the market.”

 

Finalists

Aspiring bakers can register for The Golden Whisk by visiting Crate’s Instagram page (@crate.ksa), where a link to the application form can be found in the company’s bio section. Registration is open through Feb. 26.

Finalists will be narrowed down to a pool of 20 candidates and these bakers will present their dessert samples to an esteemed panel of three judges: Mariam Alhaddad (@bakerym), Basma Elkhereiji (@basmaelkhereiji), and Raneen Joudah (@raneens.table). Judging will be based on taste, presentation, quality, originality, and the passion of bakers during their dessert presentations.

Ten lucky bakers will then go through to a grand final on March 17.

 

Marketing exposure

The winning contestant will be hosted by Bakery M at its booth at Crate, where their winning dessert will be showcased for an entire month to help with initial marketing exposure.

During the month, LOUD, a sister company of Crate, will conduct branding services such as logo designs, photography sessions, and professional packaging services. 

Crate will then offer a complimentary three-month package to the winner, where they will be allocated their own independent space within Crate to further establish their bakery brand.

“We want to bring the talent out from within you and give you a head start on your bakery brand,” said Alhaddad. “This competition is meant to help you shine. Keep in mind, individualism is key. You want to be recognized? Be original. Refuse ordinary,” she added.

Online bake-houses in the Kingdom have been a growing trend in recent years, and The Golden Whisk contest aims to capitalize on this by stirring up competition among them and in the process cooking up some delicious innovative treats. 

“We are so happy to create this opportunity through this competition,” said Fadul. “We are moving an unknown baker from their home, to their own space in an established storefront, having their business brand properly formed, and offering them great marketing exposure — with the seal of approval from Bakery M herself.”