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Tigray White Honey - Slow Food Presidia

Tigray White Honey


Tigray is the most northern region of Ethiopia, bordering with Eritrea to the north and with the Dancalia lowlands to the east. Its heart lies on a plateau at an altitude of about 2000 meters, in a landscape punctuated by impressive red mountains and spectacular canyons where, according to a local saying, "the mountains gather for a meeting". The zone is known for its numerous rock churches: they are monolithic structures dating back to 1200, clinging to the steep slopes and dug into the sandstone.
Here the seasons are well distinct: the two rainy periods are immediately followed by dry seasons with little vegetation. In spring (September to December), after the rainy season, the landscape changes and becomes greener. It is in this period that the bees can get to work on the different flowers available. Despite the dryness of the area, the yearly honey yield is considerably high. This is due to the widespread beekeeping. Honey is harvested twice a year: the first harvest takes place from September to December and has a higher yield; the second takes place from May to June (although only in particularly rainy years). The three types of honey produced are distinguishable by their color: red, yellow and white. 90% of production consists of a bright white colored honey, with good consistency and large grains without homogeneity. Its flavor is not very sweet and it has an intense aftertaste. Its color is due to the blossom of the area: a study needs to be carried out to determine the species, but presumably they mainly belong to the labiates family (like sage), and to a lesser extent to prickly pear and Euphorbia. Known and appreciated throughout Ethiopia, white honey is traditionally served during festivals with steam-cooked white bread made from wheat. Before the Presidium was created the producers used to sell the product to intermediaries. It was then often mixed with cheaper honeys and resold as a product that no longer resembled the original one.

The Presidium involves 16 beekeepers united in the Selam association in the town of Wukro. Thanks to the Presidium, the product’s presentation has improved, now sold in labeled glass jars.
The construction of a new multi-purpose workshop is currently being completed in Wukro, allowing the producers to extract and sell their honey, and make it available for tastings. Moreover, technical experts from CONAPI (Italian Consortium of Organic Beekeepers and Farmers) are helping to draw up product regulations to guarantee the authenticity and quality of the product.
Since 2009 the Tigray White Honey has been part of the Honeys of Ethiopia network, a project with the aim of supporting the best artisan honeys of Ethiopia; symbols of the richness of the local biodiversity.

Production area
Wukro, Tigray Region

Technical partners

Presidium supported by
Emilia Romagna Region

In collaboration with
Parma per gli altri

With the sponsorship of
Parma Municipality
and Modena Municipality

Click here and watch the video on Honey Network in Ethiopia!

16 beekeepers united in the Selam association
Presidium coordinator
Zerihun Dessalgn Hailemariam
tel. +251 911214454


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