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EBA
EUROPEAN BEEKEEPING ASSOCIATION

Head office: Brdo pri Lukovici 8, 1225 Lukovica, Slovenija, eba@ebaeurope.eu

EU COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE SUPPORTED ALL PROPOSALS OF EBA



Date:
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As we previously announced (HERE), the European Beekeeping Association -ЕБА addressed a reasoned letter to the Commissioner for Agriculture of the European Union, His Excellency Janusz Wojciechowski, and requested a meeting regarding the pan-European problem with counterfeit honey. Courtesy of the commissioner, the meeting was held online today.

In addition to the commissioner, the meeting was attended by his chief of staff  Andreas Schneider, deputy chief of staff Kamil Ochmanski, representatives of DG AGRI Carlos Martin Ovilo and Marina Hadjiyanni, as well as representative of the European Commission administration Diane Spiteri.

On behalf of the European Beekeeping Association (EBA), the meeting was attended by the President of the Beekeeping  Association of Slovenia, Boštjan Noč (as a representative of EBA members from the EU) and the President of the Serbian Federation of Beekeeping Organizations, Rodoljub Živadinović (as a representative of EBA members outside the EU).

The President of  Serbian Federation of Beekeeping Organizations  first thanked the Commissioner for organizing the meeting and gave the floor to the President of the Beekeeping Association of Slovenia, who explained the main goals of the EBA and particularly emphasized our proposals that counterfeit honey must be stopped in Europe, as well as that our proposal is to establishes a unique methodology for determining the authenticity of honey in the entire territory of Europe. The commissioner first said that the European Commission in 2021/2022. conducted an examination of the quality of honey on the market and found that 46% was not correct, that is, there was an indication that foreign sugars were added to that honey. Immediately after that, they gave instructions to the EU member states to strengthen controls on the quality and authenticity of honey. Although, all beekeepers are aware that hardly any country has seriously implemented such an order, as soon as we have an infestation of falsified honey on the market. The Commissioner supported the proposal to establish a unified single methodology for determining the authenticity of honey and especially praised it as an excellent idea, promising to work on it even though it is not within his competence, because the competence for analyzes belongs to the commissioner for food safety on the market, with whom he will discuss what can be done as soon as possible, because a unique methodology would improve the quality of honey controls. He emphasized that he takes the proposal extremely seriously and that he will act quickly on the matter and immediately discuss it with his colleague. He said that from September 15th, it will be possible to import into the EU only honey from accredited producers with a clearly indicated origin, where it is possible to follow the trail, that is, the origin of the honey to its real producers. He also said that work is already underway to consider the introduction of quotas for the import of honey into the EU.

He said that the EU is absolutely aware of the importance of beekeeping, not only for honey, but also for pollination by bees, and they recently increased the dedicated budget for beekeeping from 40 to 60 million euros by the EU, plus the member states add as much, and currently the total budget for 120 million euros for this purpose.

At the end, the president of the Serbian Federation of Beekeeping Organizations thanked for the support of our proposals, and emphasized that it is very important not only to determine the methodology for determining the authenticity (naturalness…) of honey, but also to operationally define it, i.e. that honey sampling must be done at the EU border itself , and that this honey must not be processed or packaged until the authenticity analysis arrives, as we are aware that there are currently many abuses in this matter. He also said that some countries are used for the re-export of mostly defective honey from third countries to the EU, but this is not stated on the declarations. The commissioner said that he will take this proposal into consideration.

The Commissioner was very satisfied that meet with the EBA representatives, he said that he supports us in our efforts, and that he is very pleased to have received excellent concrete proposals from us.

In the end, the Commissioner approved that the report on the topics discussed, the EBA publish publicly and present to the media.

The EBA thanks the EU Commissioner for Agriculture for a cordial meeting where he showed not only his excellent knowledge of beekeeping, but also gave his full support to the essential proposals of the EBA to finally solve the problem of counterfeit honey that has flooded the market and persisted for a long time, promising swift action to solve them.

 

 

 

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