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Extracts covering Scottish Bee Company
Accreditation builds consumer trust
The Scottish Bee Company isn't only about making honey, beeswax candles and other products made from the bounty of bees. The Millars also want to make positive change and give back to the Scottish bee population, the wider environment and economy.
The company is committed to supporting Scottish beekeepers, increasing the indigenous bee population by 20% over the next three years and using hives that promote bee welfare. It has also set up a charity, Repollinate, to protect all types of pollinators through education and planting wildflower spaces. Ten pence from every jar of honey sold goes to the charity.
Of course, maximising the charity's funds requires maximising sales. And to do that, the Millars need to build consumer trust. "I always felt that if we were making claims about using Scottish bees that have been pollinating heather, we had to be able to prove it," says Suzie. "But there just wasn't a way of doing that and communicating it to consumers."
Until a chance meeting with BSI, which happened to be planning to apply its long-established Kitemark to the food sector, that is. Through scientific analysis of the company's bestselling Scottish Heather Honey, BSI has been able to establish that the honey is indeed the product of bees that have been pollinating Scottish heather.
"So many brands are making claims about their products but often they haven't done anything to validate what they're saying," adds Suzie. "Having a mark that people recognise and trust really helps us stand out from the crowd. Without it, how would anyone know we were any better than our competitors?"