#ThankAFarmer: Keeping things sweet with honey

Posted by Rabobank Australia on


We meet Beechworth Honey creators Jodie and Steve Goldswothy. Jodie's family has been keeping bees since 1880. We learn more about beekeeping and growing sustainable honey.


As the developers of the much loved brand, Beechworth Honey, Steve and Jodie Goldsworthy are helping to keep life sweet for all Australians.

For more than 25 years, since founding their business, Steve and Jodie have been supplying 100% pure Australian honey to the public while creating awareness of the amazing value of both their product and bees in general.

Incredibly, a single bee produces just one-and-a-half teaspoons of honey in its entire life, but that still adds up to a huge volume of the product for the Goldsworthys, who produce spreads, beauty products, treats and drinks from honey harvested from their own beehives, as well as the hives of other beekeepers.

“We run about 1000 hives ourselves and each hive has about 60,000 bees, so that’s 60 million bees,” Jodie said.

“But Steve and I are only one of the suppliers to our brand, Beechworth Honey, with honey coming in from a lot of other beekeepers from around the country.”

And the honey is still flowing during Covid-19, with everyone in the Beechworth team keeping busy to meet the demands of consumers.

“We have had a spike in supermarket sales as people have been looking at products like honey because of its versatility. It can be used as a spread, it can be used as a sweetener, as a substitute for sugar and it doesn’t go off,” Jodie said.

“The majority of our products are sold through the major supermarket chains and that channel has been even busier than usual.

“We are able to keep up with the demand and have protective measures in place to meet Covid-19 health requirements. Any members of our team who can work from home are doing so and we are managing our production team at the factory to keep them safe, with social distancing and staggered times for breaks.”

On the downside, the food service part of their business, sales to restaurants, pubs and clubs, has declined due to Covid-19.

Beechworth Honey
Beechworth Honey

But Jodie’s real concern is the temporary shut-down of their own stores and the loss of tourism in their hometown of Beechworth – the major vehicles they use to educate the public about the importance of bees.

“I have been talking about the importance of bees for 25 years, educating people about the fact that bees are a keystone species,” Jodie said.

“Bees are responsible for two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production.”

“My life’s work will probably never been done, but Covid-19 could be a turning  point for us in focusing on food security in terms of bees.

“Now, like never before, the public understands food security in a way that they didn’t pre-Covid-19. There are about 1500 beekeeping families in Australia and those families are underpinning two-thirds of our country’s agricultural production – that’s something that we should all be sitting up and taking notice of.”

Find out more about Beechworth Honey and the valuable role bees play in the environment by visiting the website: Beechworth Honey.