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A Tasty Serving of Global Food Change!


An Empowerment Adventure Pairing Honeys & Cheeses

Sweet & Savory Prose Across the eons, honeys and cheeses have been recognized for their magical and even spiritual qualities. Though not intended as a pairing vision, the imagery of the delicious combination of possibilities is hard to ignore in the verse below, particularly given where the sentiment starts, its coverage of the wonders of life, and how it ends affirming the milk of nature’s greenery! Ancient India – Sacred Text from Rig Veda 1:90:6-8         

Let every wind that blows drop honey Let the rivers and streams recreate honey Let our medicines turn honey Let the dawn and evening be full of honey Let the dark particles be converted to honey Our nourisher, this sky above, be full of honey Let our trees be honey Let the Sun be honey Let our cows secrete honey

GOLDEN DELICIOUS DIVERSITY Few people realize the full breadth of deliciousness of the menu of honeys & cheeses across the planet. Experts say there are some 500 types of cheeses and upwards of 150 honeys that come from everywhere on the planet. As such, one of the first adventures in this Green Gold journey is finding these treasures and making sure that everyone can use the map we create to enjoy a taste of the riches! Honey alone is much more than the sweet gold that comes in that cute little plastic bear bottle.

PASS THE WORLD SOME CHEESE The US government produced Cheese Varieties in the 1950s to help clear up confusion about all those cheeses from around the world. Today, new aps, a Culture magazine, and a growing number of marketing campaigns, including those featuring California’s smart cows, to introduce us all to the cheesy diversity of the world.

GREEN GOLD: The Book After organizing a local fundraising evening that celebrated our regional honeys and cheeses, we decided to put this book together, the first of its kind on pairing honeys and cheeses. The book was designed to appeal to those of us who love delicious gourmet tastes AND to those seeking global food justice. The book is now available via our website or on

ORDER DIRECTLY FROM: In a posting by Jamie Forrest on October 14, 2008, the case was made well: “Most store-bought honey is from bees that pollinate a bunch of different kinds of flowers. Varietal honeys on the other hand are from bees that feed mainly on one flower, be it orange, lavender, rose, or some other flower. The difference is staggering, and it’s definitely worth seeking out the varietal honeys if you are going to pair them with cheeses whose flavors are equally unique and deep.”

IMPACT INVESTING: Green Gold VENTURE CAPITALISTS see impact investments as those capable of creating a solid bottom line of profit and socially responsible returns. See: COMBINING THE AGRICULTURAL VALUE OF HONEYS & CHEESES FOOD ARTISTRY has the possibility of opening a world of global investment networks and models that help all levels of emerging economies. Check out the Global Impact Investment Network’s Free-to-Bee Honey project at

Voices in Honey Money It is not difficult to see that the world wants more honey. Supply and demand are on the rise. Here are some representative quotes from the sector: From “It is common for beekeepers to sell small quantities of honey in village markets - sometimes selling by the spoonful. Others sell buckets of raw honey to beer brewers and this can provide a steady stream of income. There are many situations where small scale beekeepers could earn more from beekeeping - by accessing distant market which require larger volumes. But they are constrained by a number of challenges and difficulties. American Honey Producers Association: “In September, 2007, there was an impromptu meeting of 8 leaders of the industry which laid the basis for the formulation of the honey and health committee. I remember Jerry Brown, who was then hobbling on his crutches, saying to me, ‘Ron, if we can really make this honey and health work, this will resolve the conflicts between producers and packers. The real question will be how can we produce enough honey in the world to satisfy the increased demand for consumption that will follow….?’”

Canadian Agri-Food Trade Service, August 2009:"The U.S. currently consumes more than double the amount of honey that it produces. Imports currently supply 60-70% of honey consumed in the U.S. market. Not surprisingly, honey prices in the U.S. reached a record high in 2008 at USD141 cents per pound; an increase of 30.9% from 2007's USD107.7 cents per pound. White honey prices have seen the most significant increase; however, the increase in price for white honey has led to a large increase in demand for light amber honey (a traditionally cheaper substitute for white honey) which has led to rising prices for this product." Ron Phipps 2009 International Honey Market—Challenges and Opportunities: "As a result of the above considerations, the international honey industry will have to adjust in at least two major ways. Firstly, we need to preserve the incentive to produce and the incentive to consume honey, and keep all segments of the industry, including producers, exporters and importers, packers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers functioning as healthy segments of this large interlaced network. Secondly, the past practice of seeking to attain competitive advantage by erecting barriers to restrict supply must be superseded by effective marketing strategies to increase demand so that it stays ahead of global supply. A creative transformation is essential to achieving both increased demand and increased remuneration for honey, with its intriguing diversity of qualities, its health benefits and its roles in both providing a natural and delicious sweetener and feeding the planet."

SPECIALTY CHEESE APPEALS In 2010, cheese was officially listed as an agricultural commodity. That means that investors have determined that it’s a predictable and measurable product able to be reliably bought and sold. This fact pairs well in its own right with quotes such as these: Online Asian Times: “The success of pizzas and cheeseburgers shows that the taste barrier, often cited as the main reason for the reluctance of Chinese to eat cheese, can be overcome to some extent. The difficulty will be to find a way to integrate cheese more fully into the Chinese diet through the creation of a cheese culture. Other Western food products such as coffee, wine and even milk have been relatively widely adopted, and are now considered acceptable additions to Chinese eating and drinking habits, especially in cities.”

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center: “The impact of the current economic situation has not been studied on value-added foods such as artisan or farmstead cheeses, but there is little doubt that a large value-added industry has been created through demand for such cheeses in the United States.” “A move towards cheese is not just a response to recent events but fits into a broader search for a competitive niche. [EU dairy analysts at the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service] said: ‘The sector believes that cheese, in particular branded cheese, will be the main dairy product in which the EU can compete in the world market.’”

Thebeekeeper - The Daily Green The dance between beekeepers and farmers who need bees for pollination can be no more dramatically represented in stark dollar terms than within the shuffle tied to California’s almond products. Pollination of this crop is critical, and will be even more so if almonds continue making a major mark in the world food markets. Which apparently is actually beginning to happen now. So says this assessment (November 17, 2010) from the American Bee Journal, culled from a presentation by a Blue Diamond cooperative on almond prospects: •

“The cooperative's global franchise as the premier almond ingredient supplier quadrupled in 2009-10 versus the previous year; the processed ingredient business that sells to major global food companies averaged a 30 percent increase. As California's largest food export, almond sales to China, India and the Middle East also grew by double-digits.

"Our plan to expand our brand globally will dictate that we invest in new plant technologies more significantly to generate higher yields and increase efficiency," said Jansen. "We have projected a 15-year time horizon to gradually phase in our capital investments while consistently delivering superior grower returns." The image is owned by Hearst and The Daily Green. It is offered here just to encourage you to go to the site to look at the almond commentary,

MAPPING Our Sticky Treasures STEP ONE: Our Green Gold project started with the book to grab the world’s interest. STEP TWO: Map with interactive technologies, where the sweet and savory treasures of the planet are located. STEP THREE: Use digital connectivity help so even the smallest of businesses can get their goods to market— anywhere on the globe. See Amnesty International Training Map:

POLLINATING THE POSSIBILITIES How much money can be made by way of a food empowerment project? Right now it is hard to say. But some people think there is a world of options. See what the Global Impact Investing Network thinks ( in their public notice of a fictional model demonstrating a new investment option they just happen to call “Free-to-bee Honey. The text below is quoted verbatim: •

Free-to-bee honey (F2B) is a fictional company that exports honey from China to Western Europe and the United States. F2B purchases honey from approximately 6,000 smallholder farmers and operates a packaging facility in rural Eastern China where it produces organic honey for export. F2B purchases exclusively from smallholder farmers and provides technical assistance and group based training to suppliers in order to improve farmers’ honey yields. Western consumers purchase F2B honey both because of its unique flavor and the company’s commitment to being an environmentally and socially conscious organization that supports smallholder farmers.

Do You Want To Get Into The Pairing Game? Initial Contact Site: Connectivity: Investor Blog: Phone: 916-730-2801

Honey & Cheese Empowerment  

This piece provides an overview of what is in our book Green Gold: Pairing Honeys & Cheeses.