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  1. #81
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    Default The Authorities are Looking into It!

    Laws and more regulations and more taxes. Just keep calling for more if that's what you want!

    Have you seen that cartoon of a big crater in the main street with a ring of policemen standing around it? The caption reads, "........... and the police are looking into it."

    We have country of origin labeling laws here in Australia, and the police are looking into them too!

    We have jars of Powdered Honey on the shelf here, With an ingredients list like this: 100% Australian Honey, malto-dextrines. That could mean anything, but all I read into it is fraud, or at least misleading advertising. If we assume the text is technically correct and convert the jargon into simple language, powered honey could be 51% honey and 49% malto-dextrine (a technical name for a glucose syrup). It is light and fluffy too, so a jar full of it is cheap, but looks like a jar full of creamed honey at a cursory glance. I guess the police are looking into that jar too!

    But what if there was a bit of a leak? What if we ran out of honey too early in the run? Would we change the label to read, Malto-Dextrine, 100% Australian Honey? The components are supposed to be listed in the order of their relative volumes. Or what if we got the lines mixed and some Chinese honey (oh, maybe it was Canadian!) got into the system, would we relabel the jars? Don't tickle me, those labels were printed possibly months before the jar was filled, and the only way they relate in any way to what goes into those jars is by intent. Have you heard what the Road to Hell is paved with? And the best laid plans of mice and men................ uh, how does that one go?

    Another packer is marketing HONEY spread, with the word 'spread' not well featured on the label. Over the word HONEY in bold clear text, it reads '100% AUSTRALIAN.' The ingredients list (in 3 or 4 point text), reads, "Honey,water, sugar, pectin." A great product, no doubt, unless one was wanting honey, maybe to rub on his sunburn. Was the product 100%? or the bottle and label? or maybe the company that produced it? We have a policy here of "Truth in Advertising." The Authorities LOOK into it at times.

    No doubt the police, industry officials, politicians, and consumer watchdogs are looking into lots of things. What a pity looking doesn't change things. We have what we call 'Royal Commissions" here too. Great talks fests indeed!

    I would be studying the statistics there in Canada to verify that the production figures, the consumption figures and the importing figures are in the right columns. I occasionally read about how America is the food basket of the world, and how much honey she exports. No doubt she does export some honey, to the Bahamas, to her troops in Iceland etc., and perhaps, maybe to several small island states around about, but Arthur Anderson style accounting is still alive and well.

    So Australia is Canada's second largest consumer, aye? We must be greedy little honey eaters here. Yet, not one bottle of honey have I see here that is labeled as being or containing, Canadian Honey. Would it be that an Australian company is buying that honey for processing and vending into Europe? Into the USA? What about back into Canada?

    In musical chairs, the music always stops and there is never enough chairs to go 'round. Would that be the case if we tried to put gold to all the futures contracts, honey to all the statistics and assets to all the company shares? What about cash to all the Retirement Accounts, or hard assets to all the cyber money? Oh, well, we would have to ask the police to look into that too.

    Figures don't lie, but Liars can figure.

    Cheers and happy honey consuming!

    JohnS

    PS: Any worries with honey marketing? Let me have all your details and I will look into it!

  2. #82
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    Default

    There is a pretty big Australian honey packer located in Canada, packing honey from abroad, along with Canadian honey. Suppling the US and European market. Not sure how much honey they would be using from Australia, any thoughts?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #83
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    Swalwell, AB
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    Default

    Today 6.7 Argentinian pesos per Kg is equal to .87$US/pound. What would freight be? 15 to 20 cents per pound. What's the duty? Cause it sure looks like the Argentinian honey broker is the man to be in all of this.
    Argentina has export taxes. Not sure if this applies to honey, but they have an export sytem there that costs the producer as well as the tax AFAIK. Maybe someone else can comment on that?

  4. #84
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    Default

    A far as I have been told, there is an exprot tax on all produce, Hence the farmer strikes!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #85
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    Default

    The packer Capilano happens to be the Australian beekeeping Cooperative. When they first came into the Canadian market they were the lowest price on the shelf. I'm sure their members would not have been so happy to hear that. Half way around the world and they are the cheap brand. Kinda funny though. Now they've had some sort of restructuring, I think it had to do with losing money. So they are no longer associated with Labonte. Something about losing money and low price honey on the shelf, hmmm.

    On another note the Canadian Beekeepers Cooperative "Beemaid" has been selling plenty of honey in China. The Chinese apparently like Canadian honey. Last I heard 1 year ago, all was going well in the 5 year plan. At the time, they were at the end of year 2. Apparently if they are still on track then after the 5 year plan there would not be enough Canadian honey to satisfy the Chinese market. Maybe the Chinese can figure a way out to ship honey to Canada, re-label it and ship it back to themselves as Canadian. Sounds like a pretty good plan, eh?

    Jean-Marc

  6. #86
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    Default

    On another note the Canadian Beekeepers Cooperative "Beemaid" has been selling plenty of honey in China. The Chinese apparently like Canadian honey. Last I heard 1 year ago, all was going well in the 5 year plan. At the time, they were at the end of year 2. Apparently if they are still on track then after the 5 year plan there would not be enough Canadian honey to satisfy the Chinese market.
    I always said North Americans were promoting in the wrong country, and that the promotion should be happening in China where the largest potential market is and promtion costs the least.

    Glad to see someone is doing it, and that it is working. Strange that it would be Beemaid, though, since they have bene such a laggard and price taker.

  7. #87
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    Default

    BeeMaids CEO mentioned at the last AGM, that if BeeMaid could tap into the top 1% of the Chinese market, their members couldnt produce enough extra white and white honey to satisfy it,

    >>The Chinese apparently like Canadian honey. Last I heard 1 year ago, all was going well in the 5 year plan. At the time, they were at the end of year 2. Apparently if they are still on track then after the 5 year plan there would not be enough Canadian honey to satisfy the Chinese market

    They are talking the extra white premium honey,
    but ya, so much potential

    One thing BeeMaid has going for them, is the are a cooperative honey packer, buying honey only from its members. Single source honey supplier, supplying honey only from the Canadian prairies. They can source their production to the producer, pin point any concerns if any arise
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #88
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    Default

    Well, if you have ever tasted the "honey" packed and sold in China, you would not buy "honey" again. My wife bought me a jar when she was over there (complete with pictures of bees, etc.) and when we opened it we decided immediately that there was NO honey in it. It was awful.

    I can see why the Chinese consumers would buy Canadian honey, or honey from any other country if they knew it was real and had tasted it once, AND they could be sure that the supplier was consistent.

    Chinese customers tend to be quite shrewd, (justifyably) wary and expect value. Hey, they are just like any other consumers.

    All the advertising in the world can only get a person to try a product once. If that experience is bad, then the product fails.

    The Chinese packers selling awful "honey" have done the market some harm, but if the consumers can differentiate that junk from real honey, the sky is the limit.

  9. #89
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    Tamworth, NSW Australia
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    Default One more rant, then I will desist.

    Ian, Re: Msg. 101,
    Plenty of thoughts, but no hard data. I was told that same company has packing plants in Argentina as well. I doubt if much Australian honey goes into North America owing to your preference for light flavor, but specialty lines of Eucalypt for the connoisseurs’ market may be bigger than I think. There are certainly a lot of Aussies living in California. I doubt if much white honey is required to come back in to Australia, as our average shelf pack will need lots of eucalypt flavor to fly well. In short seasons, mind you, some white would be welcome to soften the darker/stronger flavored grades. Mostly, I assume that company sells the bulk of its Australian input (mixed with what? only the gods would know) into Europe as Organic Honey, at considerably better prices. The Europeans are really hooked on that word Organic.

    Jean-Marc (105)
    For sure, honey is like gold, in as much as it circumnavigates the planet in the effort to reduce the impact of shortages and rising production costs. Traceability and proof of authenticity is scarcely possible. The paper trail and the official approvals at best looks like just another ‘license to cheat.’ In the case of gold, who cares? In the case of honey, Who Cares? If it were not for the lies we are fed about the honey market, even the beekeepers probably wouldn’t be so concerned about honey’s travels.

    Re: 103/4,
    The big advantage the world’s buyers had in Argentina for so long was that the beekeepers there thought they were getting better prices for their honey owing to the inflation of their currency. Now that the inflation bubble has burst there, the farmers are a bit more awake. Anyone asleep in North America? There are plenty asleep here in Australia. They don’t realize that despite the rising dollar value of their honey, they are still losing margin.

    If you want a really good price for your honey sell it to Zimbabwe! You could be a millionaire overnight!

    Allend (108),
    Right ON! China is the best market for honey in the world! Owing to the length of time their society has been established, their beekeepers have been letting standards slip (for hundreds of years?) to the point where now, their honey is almost inedible to my taste too.

    One main flaw is that they don’t let the honey ripen in the comb. At times (if my information is correct) they spin the combs on a daily basis. This unripened nectar ferments, the honey granulates rapidly and the syrup may be sold off locally from the top of the keg. This part I have seen with my own eyes. The Chinese poor cannot afford to eat honey any more so than the Americans can afford to hold gold. As an international commodity (much in demand, I might add) a pail of honey can cost many a price equal to a weeks wages.

    However, despite popular beliefs, China has more rich people than any other nation. So if only 1% of them were offered good honey from your country or mine, I am sure they would go for it in a big way.

    Another aside of interest, is that when you see a Chinese population in San Francisco (for instance) you may not notice that a percentage of them are constantly being recycled back through China. The point here is that quite a number of the Chinese in China have traveled and lived elsewhere and know what honey is supposed to be.

    It was reported in ‘Lonely Planet’ that no Chinese person has ever died in the UK, according to the births, deaths and marriages records. This is overstated, I am sure, but wait for it: The passports are constantly being mailed back to China! You can’t help but love the Chinese. They are the world’s masters at keeping their mouths shut while they get on with the business of prospering. Many centuries of oppressive governmental burdens have taught them this.

    Governmental burdens? What’s that?

    Cheers,
    JohnS

  10. #90
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    souris, manitoba, canada
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    Default John Smith , please keep your "rants" COMING

    Capalinao had trouble blending out the nitofurons a couple of years ago in their Argentina packing plants.If I remember correctly some of the tainted stuff ended up in Canada.
    What does Eucalyptest honey sell for or pay the beekeeper in Aussie land? I think the taste may have been Capilano's downfall in Canada, that and the effort to be the cheapest product on a couple of grocery store chain shelfs broke them.
    Heard BeeMaids Chinese market was a couple of container loads every 2 months....... be a long time emptying the Canadian honey crop at that rate........ this may or may not be true.




    Irwin
    Got no quarrel with those that sell for less........................they obviously know what their stuff is worth

  11. #91
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    Default

    >>couple of container loads every 2 months....... be a long time emptying the Canadian honey crop at that rate........ this may or may not be true.


    Probably true, but its a start, and to build a reputation, you have to start somewhere,
    That one percent quote was given just to give a sense of perspective,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #92
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    Tamworth, NSW Australia
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    Default Thanks, Irwin.

    Don’t wind me up too much, …………….you’ll get us both excommunicated!

    Farm gate prices in New South Wales are about US$1.00 per pound for what we consider top quality (Yellow Box, being our favorite Eucalypt honey). Advertised prices and prices paid are not necessarily the same and most information is considered ‘private’ or ‘commercially sensitive.’

    Caveat Emptor in reverse would be: Let the vendor beware. Few beekeepers here have an ‘asking price.’ Most adds ‘To Buy’ simply say, “Top Prices Paid.” Too many good years when Capilano was a young and beekeeper owned institution led the beekeepers to trust the buyers and not challenge the price. Now they have mostly lost any negotiating skills they may have once had.

    Capilano is now one of the few publicly listed companies dedicated to honey. Their shares are in the toilet at the moment, but someone is still buying them. If the company survives this downturn, their shares could become as good as gold! Sheri questioned whether or not the Health aspect of the market would continue. My answer is an emphatic YES. Honey is set to go through the roof. The savy investor will soon be getting ‘primed up’ and buying their shares will be on the menu. I haven't bought any yet! I have my retirement money tied up in big barrels.

    A license to cheat (Organic Producer Certification) can increase one’s price by 30 percent.

    I advertised honey in drums to the commercial food industry and received nil responses. They appear to know they are buying glucose with a dash of honey and seem to have no interest in buying honey from beekeepers. I spoke to a person at a social event who worked in the Seventh Day Adventist food factory and he was most adamant that they put honey in the cereal they manufacture. The label on their product does not confirm this. So they obviously ‘call’ it honey there in the factory………. Oh yes, big drums of it coming in all the time! One can only wonder why they don’t put it on their mandatory ingredients list!

    The supermarket is a strong market. Honey is priced on the shelf at or about 4 times its worth at the farm gate. Beekeepers who market direct some of their (or entire) product never had it so good. Entrepreneurial marketing has the sky for a limit, of course.

    Big losses in foreign exchange futures are touted to have been the downfall of large honey consortiums here. The Aussie Dollar is pretty much at the mercy of the Gnomes of Zurich. Also, with lengthy contracts with Supermarket Chains, some had to jack prices up very high at one point to cover themselves. Either that or they hoped to squeeze the small packers out, but the net result was a heap of overpriced stock after a huge spring crop came in. Not being very smart, they attributed that to the higher prices offered. They obviously don't understand honey flows in a desert continent!

    When everyone is losing, there is little fat in the fire for anyone.

    We have a strong immigrant population here, and they are an insatiable market for honey.
    I am very suspicious (of everything?) of the nitrofurans argument. Mostly we use our science to support our economic needs, not to protect our health.

    If we all knew how many legal carcinogens are in all the other factory foods we consume we would gag! It would be debatable that the Chinese population is less healthy than the North American one. Obesity is conspicuously absent there, anyway.
    If North Americans eat less than one percent of their sugar intake as honey, I can’t see why a poison measured in parts per million (or billion?) is likely to cause any increase in anorexia!

    If the Chinese and the Argentineans are using these nitrofurans, perhaps they are better antibiotics than those we manufacture and market in Westernized countries. After all, they have the big surpluses of honey and we are unable to produce enough for ourselves. But do our regulators have permission from the World Health Organization to accept Chinese antibiotics? The plot sickens! What is a carcinogen and what is not is subject to the judgment of the expert. We do not encourage feeding test over extended periods. Even our much vaunted ‘Toxicity’ tests are mainly carried out on the young, (university students?) who everyone knows can eat manure without much shock!

    Ian Steppler has it Right (Msg.111). With confidence in our world’s institutions at an all time low, the only way the honey industry can regain its rightful market share is if we start at the beekeeper level and rebuild our market from there. That is why I am so excited about “The Honey Revolution.”

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ney+revolution

    Someone play “The Last Post” as I am out of here for a while! Would rather not destroy my welcome all at once!

    Cheers,
    JohnS
    Last edited by John Smith; 02-17-2009 at 03:59 PM. Reason: change vaulted to vaunted

  13. #93
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  14. #94
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  15. #95
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    Default

    Odem was buying any Canadian honey at $1.60/lb last week and $1.75/lb for clover.

    Jean-Marc

  16. #96
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    Default

    That is a good price improvment.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #97
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Odem was buying any Canadian honey at $1.60/lb last week and $1.75/lb for clover.
    Jean-Marc
    You are talking C$, correct? That would be around $1.40 US, an improvement from what we have been offered recently, hoping this trend continues.
    Sheri

  18. #98
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    Default at 1.60 /lb Canadian funds

    http://calc.customhouse.com/ratecalc...6&refCurr=USD&

    1.60can =1.27USD........... plus freight ,plus duty............ US or European packer getting a steal of a deal

    or
    [url]http://www.xe.com/



    Live rates at 2009.02.17 00:21:33 UTC
    1.60 CAD= 1.28715USD


    Canada Dollars United States Dollars
    1 CAD = 0.804469 USD 1 USD = 1.24306 CAD
    Last edited by irwin harlton; 02-16-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: MORE INFO

  19. #99
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by irwin harlton View Post
    1.60can =1.27USD.
    Yeah, and 1.75CAD = $1.406US. I use xe also.
    The $1.27 is a bit lower than we have been quoted. We too were told by a US Packer "We can get all the Canadian honey we want delivered for $1.25, but we don't want to leave out the US beekeeper". Nice of him, eh?
    So even $1.27 looks like an improvement to me, and $1.40 for clover (which is what we have) is heading towards where it peaked last year. Moving in the right direction at least.
    Sheri

  20. #100
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    Default That cheap 1.25USD Canadian honey

    "We can get all the Canadian honey we want delivered for $1.25, but we don't want to leave out the US beekeeper". Nice of him, eh?



    That cheap 1.25- 1.28USD Canadian honey

    is rapidly evaporating............should be all gone by now.............only higher priced honey left, me thinks

    I wonder how much the depression has crushed or shrunk demand IF AT all.......
    Packers and brokers are playing the game well........... get as much now, as cheap as possible , cause down the road honey is going to be more costly.Bet they are all carrying short inventories infear of worse things to come in the economy

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