Firmly beehind local producers

ENERGY drinks were making Applecross hairdresser Edward Owen buzz, but not in a good way, so he set about creating a healthy alternative.

Owen decided to collaborate with food scientists at UWA, using honey for sweetness and flavour instead of sugar, and created the drink Bee Firm.

Launched 12 months ago, the drink was an instant hit and a planned year’s supply sold out in just three months.

High in energy but low in artificial ingredients it’s made with honey from the Perth Hills, guarana, ginseng and Kimberley/Gubinge kakadu plums.

“Kakadu plums have the highest vitamin C in the world,” brand development manager Michael Borowiec says.

From the outset the firm was inundated with overseas suppliers wanting to sell them honey.

But the ingredients for the drink were always going to be locally sourced as WA has some of the purest honey in the world, thanks to the state’s tough bio-security.

Ethical production is at the heart of Bee Firm and the company has links to Keep Australia Beautiful and Save the Bees.

With WA set to introduce a container deposit scheme in 2020, there were plans to up the ante by offering 15 cents return on Bee Firm bottles.

The state government was delighted, saying big manufacturers fight the scheme tooth and nail, but unfortunately the legislation was fixed on a 10 cents return.

All Bee Firm bottles are made in WA, and have zip-tear labels with the product name in braille.

“If you can do a small thing like that you are making it more inclusive and that is a good thing,” Mr Boroweic says.

Bee Firm took out a gong for supporting regional and local producers at last year’s WA Regional Development Awards.

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