bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, August 01, 2004

My honey is from your garden

All honey sold in the UK will soon have to state the name of the country of origin on the label — and I think the same rule is being applied across all EU (European Union) countries.

In the UK the labelling regulations will affect me, a hobbyist producer, if I want to sell though a local shop. (I can sell it privately without any restrictions.) I'm afraid I've still got a backlog of old labels and I'm not going to print new ones until I have to.

In Italy, new labelling regulations come into force from today and they are threatening 6000 Euro fines for anyone caught trying to sell foreign honey as Italian.

I believe that the new UK regulations will come into force on 1 October 2004. (See here for the detailed UK Government regulations.)

I can see a point of the regulation as a way of protecting local producers, but I do get rather annoyed that beekeepers have to put up with so much scrutiny when multi-nationals (a slightly more powerful lobby) get away with selling the most outrageous products. If you want to feel queasy, do read Fast Food Nation.

Update: I shouldn't grumble, the head of Italy's beekeepers probably has it about right:

“This is a highly significant decision,” explains Francesco Panella, President of the Italian National Union of Beekeepers, ... “It will help consumers to distinguish artisan from industrial honey, and will finally reward those who have been constantly striving to take the path of quality.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cat said...

Turlough, I was not able to link to rules and regs. Do the same rules apply if you sell honey over the net? How can the government regulate internet sales? I was thinking of the sale of prescription drugs over the net and how the US has not been successful in regulating that market.
Sorry to read about your low honey yield.

8:58 am  
Blogger Turlough said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:01 am  
Blogger Turlough said...

Link is now fixed — apologies. I really don't know how the regulation can be enforced. The Net is doubtless causing anomalies with all sorts of trade.

9:14 am  

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