It’s been another fruitful few weeks since the last update! Remember the ten projects we presented in our last update? Well, plenty of exciting developments to share with you… 

Houtwerf raises €22,000 for BVU

In an incredible show of community support, a collection campaign led by Houtwerf has raised a whopping €22,000 for BVU in just over a month! We are seriously blown away by this amount – there are so many great things we will be able to achieve with these funds. 

As an international wholesale trade service and co-producer, Houtwerf is the specialist with more than 80 years of experience in wood, plate material en parquet and laminate floors. The collection campaign was aimed at raising money for the first 100% eco bamboo house, which will be built in collaboration with Christian Childcare Programme Uganda (CPP Uganda). We will also be able to fund part of the community building with this money, which will benefit a lot of people. 

Partnership with Fair Flora

BVU founder Henri is a busy man! Another business that he set up a few years ago is Fair Flora, a fair and sustainable plant label. Growers who want to sell their products as Fair Flora have to fulfill five requirements on sustainability, including a constant drive to improve. But these plants also have to be kept in a pot or container, and they have to be showcased somehow in shops and at fairs. 

This is where we are officially starting an exciting partnership! BVU can provide many of these materials with a sustainability guarantee. Think for example bamboo flower pots, like this adorable specimen:

Our talented colleagues in Uganda are also building a beautiful bamboo presentation table on which Fair Flora products can be displayed.

And this is only the start… There are a million things we can make out of bamboo to complement these gorgeous sustainable plants. Do you have any genius ideas, or are you interested in buying or selling BVU and/of Fair Flora products? Let us know! 

Speaking of bamboo products, check out the latest creations from Ezzy’s Craft Centre:

The first BVU Concept Center is a reality

The very first BVU Concept Center will be opened in Luzera, Kampala. Ugandans will be trained here to become bamboo crafters. BVU will also use this space and their skills to develop, produce and sell various products. This is an important milestone for us, as the Concept Center was our goal for 2019. We are so happy to have been able to fulfill it, and can’t wait to see how it develops.

All is well on the Propagations front

BVU Propagations is officially a company! As you can see by the goofy smiles, Sjaak (founder) and Henri (co-owner) are very happy. Meanwhile, steady progress is being made at our nursery. We are so lucky to have such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local team driving us forward. 

The nursery now hosts 15 bamboo species. We keep getting better at finding techniques to propagate these species, and are ramping up activities to achieve mass production of seedlings in the near future.

First BVU banana paper products sold

The first official order has been received for banana paper: Houtwerf will be using banana paper wine bags for their corporate gifts. We wouldn’t say no to that… 

Lakeweed office in Luzera/Kampala

The Lake Weed project now officially has its own office in Luzera (Kampala). This makes coordinating and planning a lot easier. As you can see, there is enough weed to keep us busy on that front for a while! 

Mobile bamboo treatment bath

To make sure bamboo has a long lifespan as construction material, it must be treated to prevent insect activity and rot. This step adds value to the harvested bamboo, and we want to make sure that value stays in the local economy. 

That’s why we’re getting our very own mobile treatment bath, where our bamboo will be treated with non-toxic Bio Borax. Here are some sneak peeks of the design:

Whew, that was a long one! We’ll leave it at that for now. Get in touch if you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn for more regular updates!