Unique mangrove honey wins Paris award
Honey is among the micro-industries identified by Aramco as having the potential to enable communities to flourish.
Mangrove honey produced in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia has won a gold medal in Paris.
For centuries, mangrove forests along the shores of the Arabian Gulf have protected beaches from erosion, provided sanctuary for shrimp and fish spawn, absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and produced flowers that attract honey bees.
The honey that comes from mangrove forests in coastal cities such as Saihat, Safwa, and Tarut has a distinctive aroma, flavor, and texture. Part-time beekeeper, Ali Sultan — who works with Aramco’s Digital and Information Technology Admin Area — recently won a gold medal from the Paris Quality Honey Awards for honey produced here in the Eastern Region.
Sultan, who began keeping bees as a hobby seven years ago, explains that his honey was evaluated based on the “blind” method, where judges taste-tested the product without packaging or other distinctive labeling. Instead, judges relied solely on the sense of enjoyment gained from tasting the honey, it’s appearance, smell, texture, flavor, and “mouth-feel,” as well as laboratory tests.
At the Paris ceremony, Sultan’s honey rated as a gold medalist — a remarkable achievement that validates not only the value of mangroves to the environment, but also their potential to the local economy. Sultan hopes this award will be recognized as a reliable sign of quality, both for domestic and export markets.
“With the support of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, my beehive numbers have increased 10 times, to 200 hives,” says Sultan. “Securing an official place and then distributing beehives along the beach was a leap of progress into production expansion.”
Aramco and mangroves
Aramco, aligning with the Saudi Green Initiative, plays a critical role in enhancing the ecosystems of mangrove forests, targeting to plant a total of 44 million mangroves by 2025.
“Aramco has a clear footprint in the field of mangrove cultivation and beach cleaning activities — ideal for honey production of the finest quality,” says Sultan.
Accordingly, honey is among the micro-industries identified by Aramco as having the potential to enable communities to flourish.
Caption of the top image: Bees storing mangrove honey inside a beehive.