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Mixing with cheap goods: EU should label honey mixtures more precisely

2021-10-12T06:45:01.600Z

Does a "mixture of honey from EU and non-EU countries" contain mainly goods from China? Slovenia wants to ensure that consumers can soon be better informed. German beekeepers are meanwhile suffering from the weather.



Enlarge image

Bee collecting nectar

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm / dpa

Slovenia is applying pressure at EU level to achieve more precise labeling of honey with a view to its origin.

Consumers should be given the opportunity to clearly see from which country the different types of honey mixtures come, said the Slovenian Agriculture Minister Joze Podgorsek after a meeting with his EU counterparts.

So far, the following applies to labeling: If honey from the EU is mixed with imported honey from China, for example, this only needs to be indicated generally on the packaging as a “mixture of honey from EU and non-EU countries”.

Theoretically, small amounts of EU honey can be mixed with a large part of cheap imports without consumers being able to fully understand this.

"Updating the rules for labeling honey mixes is one of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency," said Podgorsek.

An adjustment would also strengthen the competitiveness of EU beekeepers on the international market.

Many other EU countries would support the move.

Slovenia holds the rotating presidency among the EU countries until the end of December.

More concrete results are expected in the coming year when France takes over the EU presidency, said Podgorsek.

At the beginning of the year, Germany also fundamentally supported a move that called for more precise labeling.

Bad honey harvest in Germany

There is bad news for consumers who value German honey.

Germany's beekeepers harvested significantly less honey this year than in previous years.

On average, each bee colony weighed 28.3 kilograms in total, 5.5 kilograms less than in 2020 as a whole, according to the German Beekeeping Association.

Compared to 2019, the losses were similar, compared to 2018 it was even a minus of 10.5 kilos.

The harvest this year can be divided into 15.4 kilos of early garb and 12.9 kilos of summer garb - both values ​​are very low.

"It was a lean harvest year in most regions," says Beekeeper Association President Torsten Ellmann.

The head of the Bees and Beekeeping Center, Christoph Otten, spoke of a frustrating year for many beekeepers.

The main reason for this was the bad weather: »In many places it was too cool and too wet.

The bees did not fly out very often and urgently needed the small amounts of nectar they brought in themselves, ”says Ellmann.

However, there were regional differences: the harvest in the north and east was better than in the south and west of Germany.

mmq / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-12

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