Sweetjustice is a new brand of honey that appeared on the shelves of my local independent supermarket this week. And it didn't take long to discover that Claire Moore, the woman behind the new honey brand, has big plans for it.
The former Melbourne stockbroker recently told regional womens business magazine – OAK that "We are on track to become one of Victoria’s largest honey producers."
OAK reported Moore already has some 1300 bee-hives, with plans to grow that number to 3000, and the potential to produce around 200,000 kilograms of honey per year.
Ordinarily, and for an ordinary person, those plans might seem very ambitious, and their realization very difficult.
But Moore is no ordinary person. After a seven year career in stock-broking she and her husband and three small children moved to the Victorian regional town of Kyneton in 2014. They set up a small farm there, producing eggs and honey under the business name - The Good Life Farm Co.
Moore is said to have organised local producers in the region to join with her in “Small Farms United” – an initiative that produced hampers of local produce for sale in famers markets.
In 2019 she was named Victorian winner of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and runner up for the national award. She said would use the $15,000 Award bursary provided by Westpac to learn queen-bee breeding at the TOCAL College in NSW.
2019 was apparently also the year in which she first learned of a US programme teaching prisoners how to keep bees as part of a programme helping them to re-integrate into society after their release.
An approach to the local Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre was warmly received, and so SweetJustice was begun.
The Sweetjustice training initiative sees Moore doing bee-keeping training in the prison every week.
Since the programme began it has expanded to 3 other prisons with a total of 180 persons having been involved.
Moore’s LinkedIn profile indicates she now has 4 staff helping her in the Sweet Justice bee-keeping enterprise.
She also has an impressive group of high-powered people helping her business efforts. They include chairman - Quin Scalzo, the founder of Scalzo Food Industries and Melanie Brown, a partner at stockbrokers Pitcher Partners. Duncan Murray, CEO of the Besen family office, is also involved as a non-executive director.
According to OAK magazine, Moore is renting some 30 acres of bushland surrounded by the Greater Bendigo National park, where she has a shed with workrooms for honey processing operations.
See also www.oakmagazine.com.au
Note: Moore was awarded the inaugural 2021 Rotary Melbourne Environment and Sustainability Award.