bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Turkey confronts counterfeiting

Turkey claims to be the second largest producer of honey with 70,000 tons per year, second only to China. According to Eva Crane's 1984 collated figures, Turkey produced 30,000 tons and was third after China and Mexico, just sneaking ahead of Argentina.

Doubling output in two decades is quite an achievement, but Bahri Yilmaz, head of the Turkish Apiarists' Union, is complaining about poor regulation enabling counterfeit honey to be sold abroad.

“This illegal honey is being exported with a 'Turkish honey' label. All the honey is sent back to Turkey when various chemicals are found in it," said Yilmaz.

Yilmaz said there were beekeepers' unions in 62 countries with some 17,000 members. He said some 40,000 people in Turkey were professional beekeepers. Some 180,000 families earn a living from beekeeping, according to him.

... the European Union (EU) imported some 200,000 tons of honey each year. "But Turkey can only export some 18,000 tons to Europe. If the honey producers are supported, this production can expand to become a source of very important economic income."


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