Conservation, livelihood and enterprise
Based in Kotagiri in the heart of Nilgiri mountains, Last Forest Enterprise has been a market intermediary for wild forest produce that is harvested by indigenous communities since 2010. These communities are working on forest and agriculture produce, which are natural, wild and local. Last Forest procures from over 45 groups across the country and sell through over 100 outlets including our own three retail shops in the Nilgiris (Kotagiri, Conoor and Ooty). Therefore, we work with more than 150 villages impacting thousands of people. We cater to the entire supply chain of procurement, quality check, brand, promote and sell organic, fair trade, and indigenous products. We sell honey, a range of beeswax- (which used to be thrown as waste!) products such as soaps, balms and lip balms. In addition we sell essential oils, spices, millet, candy, coffee, and much more!
Last Forest is incubated by Keystone Foundation, and has close links with its sister organisations Aadhimalai and Nilgiri Natural History Society. Our honey, a key forest produce, is harvested by honey hunters from indigenous communities at great risk but with tremendous tradition and culture encapsuled into the activity. The honey has been sustainably harvested for thousands of years from honey cliffs and bee-nesting trees during April to July each year. Keystone has been working since 1993 to alleviate poverty for these honey hunter communities. This work started with the founders selling the honey from an old Yezdi bike by visiting local people’s houses! Now, 27 years later, the bike has been replaced by stores, social media and Amazon, but the excellent taste of our popular honey is still the same (and with many new exciting and unique flavours)!