Europe’s current honey policy does not afford sufficient protection to European honey producers

“Europe’s current honey policy is untenable in view of the fact that it does not afford sufficient protection against imitation honey made under laboratory conditions, coming particularly from Asia, and as a result is totally destroying the European honey market and European honey producers,” Minister of Agriculture István Nagy declared in Brussels on Monday in a statement at a demonstration by Hungarian and Spanish honey farmers.

“The European Commission must reopen its dossier on the honey directive, because the origin of honey must be determined much more strictly and must be indicated on honey jars. The country of origin of the product must be stated, as well as its ratio of European honey and honey from other sources,” the Minister of Agriculture emphasized.

Nagy said the Brussels demonstration is contributing to enabling the ministers of EU member states to protect pollinators and the quality of European honey during negotiations with the European Commission. “European beekeepers would also like to have strict provenance trials for honeys of European origin, as well as the enabling of their tracking via labelling and European trademarks,” he stated.

“Beekeeping is a small sector, but it is a strategic sector in view of the fact that putting a suitable quality honey on the table depends on the pollination activities of bees,” the Minister highlighted. “If beekeepers go bankrupt, and there are no bees and no pollination, then two thirds of our foods will disappear from supermarket shelves,” he warned.

He declared that beekeeping requires a financial background that makes it worthwhile for beekeepers to perform this business activity via the buying-in price of honey. “In itself, producing honey cannot assure a living for beekeepers, and accordingly the Hungarian government is providing them with funding to supplement their income,” Nagy said. “The long-term solution would be to provide protection to beekeepers and the whole bee population at European level”.

“Our goal is to enable consumers to purchase original honey, because by doing so we will be contributing to the long-term preservation of our created world,” the Minister of Agriculture said.