„63 six years old family tradition that has turned out into a social business. We have turned our attention towards the people and started to sell so to say, straight away from the garden.“
David Turčany, as the third generation of beekeepers in the family, has changed the concept and “the style” of selling the honey.
In what aspect do you consider this project to be unique?
David: The project was the first to create a new concept for the apiary open to people. During the whole season, it is open to all curious people. Family tradition has also been transferred to a family atmosphere and an individual approach. Our other activities do not focus solely on education and the environment. We show that the bees can also bring economic and social development of the region and Slovakia in general.
When we say that your project is a social business. What does it make to be one?
David:Profit from our shares remains in the region. We are targeting people with marginalized groups, the long-term unemployed, which is the biggest economic burden of Slovakia and a serious problem to be solved especially in the regions. We try to help them create jobs by using beekeeping. We educate beekeepers and provide them with the necessary equipment for the beginning, or we cooperate with them when processing bee products.
We have find out that you are working with the concept of so called “Fair Honey”. What is the main idea behind?
David: Fair Honey is our Slovak fair-trade. Verified beekeepers from the region will receive the money they deserve. It seems that if a good beekeeper is not always a good trader. It can be said that it is typical for the whole of Slovakia that the honey is sold below the price. With this project, we want to show the real value of honey and to make sure that both parties, both the customer and the beekeeper, are satisfied.
Setting up any kind of business is not easy. Starting a social business as unknown concept is surely even harder. What was the most difficult about starting this project?
David: We came to Kokava nad Rimavicou with six bee-hives from my father and with a big heart and enthusiasm. We were grinding the old tables that were left behind by the original owners on the purchased land, so eventually, we had created a sitting place. Today we have a nice campus and we can do actions fully for 50 or more people, depending on the type of the action. We worked as volunteers, a small project is hard to get a relevant spot in between the bigger ones. The hardest was to keep up when the project began to feed us somehow.
You are creating new working opportunities and offering even requalification courses for people. What would you like to share with young people in regions that tackle the problem of unemployment and want to run their own social business potentially as well?
David:Find something original! Nowadays, there are many projects that just duplicate what’s been here already. We came up with something new and people started to be interested. Still, we are thinking of new things so people can always find something new and interesting for themselves, but the same applies for us, to make it sustainable and interesting at the same time.
What would you say, what is your “recipe for success”?
David:Give people more than they expect! Though that’s harder than it seems at the first sight.