Ron I wasnt serious about a new coop....was throwing some rocks! Sgt Alot of beeks didnt have a crop at all...bad year. DIdnt have any to sell at any price. Plus you can build a good market faster than you can increase bees even if you are selling at 15-20/qt if you are in the right area.
Yes, and getting surprised by higher demand than you guessed is one thing, going back and selling again in the same market at the same price the following week/month/year is another thing.
Funnily enough, most supermarket and big brand name packers tell us honey is hard to sell. Is there a chance these people really don't want to sell honey? If anyone knows of marketing campaigns anywhere in the world, could we have a report on it?
The higher people climb the ladder in all organisations, the more they seem to be against honey, and this includes honey co-ops. And as far as getting the price up to a level that stimulates production, the beekeepers are the ONLY class of people who want that, and it would appear even some of them don't.
Real people buy real honey. More and more of them are attempting to source it direct from the beekeeper too. They don't seem to mind paying more for it either, and why should they? If they want real honey make them pay real prices.
If beekeepers want to survive, they have to go around the system and serve their customers directly. The system people PREFER to sell substitutes, as they are far more profitable.
Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 02-08-2010 at 07:18 PM. Reason: off topic
Overestimating the importance of honey will just contribute to the boom and bust cycle. I have a friend that manages a large national grocery store. Honey is on the shelf for 12.50 a kilo. Sales are down 80%. He told me matter of factly that customers won't pay that for honey. Multiply that by the 1,000's of grocery stores in Canada alone.
Of course as we all know, (and certainly have seen in the recent past), this will lead to packers offering .80 in a year or so.
Sure, there are people that will pay 12.50 kg for honey. Unfortunately you run out of those customers in a hurry.
As beekeepers we somtimes can't see the forrest for the trees. If honey is demed too expensive by the consumers, they'll live quite fine without it.
123'six months til the new crop'456
Last edited by Barry; 12-27-2009 at 07:56 PM.
Happy Halidays to all!!!!
>>Sales are down 80%. He told me matter of factly that customers won't pay that for honey.
I hear the opposite,
>>Of course as we all know, (and certainly have seen in the recent past), this will lead to packers offering .80 in a year or so.
Ya, but the other bigger factor is honey coming out of the southern hemisphere.
Packers are still paying 1.5$ cnd for the honey, the ones buying right now anyway.
Time will tell what we will see in prices for 2010.
with the market now, little snips of news moves the market
with the market now, solid factual production reports will swing the market
time will tell
Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 02-08-2010 at 07:10 PM.
A WI packer only offering $1.44 lb. for ELA(10 drum load). I deliver. I have been getting $1.60 lb to $1.70 lb(depending on color) on 1-5 drum lots picked up.
Packers aren't offering much because a high shelf price is killing their retail sales. When honey becomes a luxury as opposed to a staple we all feel the effects.
Beeslave, networking is the way to go. Beeks that need honey to keep their customers happy gladly pay 20-40 cents a pound more for the convenience of not having to buy a truckload.
I dont think the store shelf price is killing their sales as much as the crappy tasting liquid they call honey some are putting in a jar! Prices on the shelf are not too high ether in Ky of Fl. 1# jar at wally world around 3-3.79 dollars. I went in WalMart in Fl two weeks ago and there was NO i repeat NO honey on the shelf, totally empty. I asked the cashier and manager and both said it was selling like crazy..coming thru register constantly! couldnt keep it on the shelf. I told them they need to be selling my honey and they would sell even more!
we have the NHB telling customers that all honey is the same, and the NHB is run by those who benefit from buying the worst honey possible at the lowest prices, and is hurt by superior honey selling for premium prices directly from the beekeeper to the consumer. do you want to support the NHB? do they support you (no, they use the cheap supply of inferiour imported honey to lower the price they will pay you).
so, is your honey the same as some of the crappy supermarket product? should you be competing in the same market with that stuff? is the NHB working in your interests?
what we need to work against is the idea that honey is a commodity like refined sugar. good honey is special, and will only be treated that way by the customer if it is treated that way by the producer.
www.uucantonny.org, "Support Our Troops"
well there is a two sided coin here. part of the problem is first convincing a potential customer that what they think of as honey is not "good" honey.
at least in our neck of the woods, the county fair honey competitions are all about looks. the judges will give all honey the same score for taste (unless there is a noticeable off flavor), leaving crystailization, bubbles in the glass, and fill level as the major critera that people are competing over....with different classes for different sized jars and colors of honey.
imho, this is just plain stupid. it furthers the agenda of "all honey is the same", which is exactly what local beekeepers who compete in these things should be working against!
if more of the large commercial beekeepers did bottle and market their own honey, they would be more concerned about quality and taste rather than color...or at least their bottom line would reflect their concern.
once people start to realize what good honey tastes like, the bar gets raised, and better honey is available, the demand grows, and the price goes up.
fwiw, this isn't just some abstract economic theory, it is how we run our business, and it works. we only sell honey that is produced without treatments and without artificial feeds, and we get a lot of interest in our "story"...but what sells the honey is the taste.
>>Packers aren't offering much because a high shelf price is killing their retail sales. When honey becomes a luxury as opposed to a staple we all feel the effects.
You may be right, as your friend suggest. He sell the honey retail, so his perspective is relevant.
The perspective from a packer I deal with is not as gloomy with their sales. In fact they are the same if not up from last year, as far as I would understand.
For argument sake, they definitely dont have a reduction in sales by 80%.
Their tone towards the price of honey wholesale is movement is slow, but still trading.
One particular substantial trade was above 1.5$/lbs wholesale.
Their look on the honey market place is bullish, basically because of poor north American crops and small inventories in South America, but the watch is on the upcoming south American crop, their production WILL influence the market one way or the other.
My hedge would be take the 1.5$ now.
Historically this is a good price.
you will have next years crop to deal on if the prices rocket , and if the prices plummet, you will have already taken the good price when was there,
I hear what your saying John,
I know you already realize the commodity of honey is also just that, a commodity,
one way to market that commodity is to value add,
the other way is to market it though packers who add the value,
your not going to get away from the overwhelming fact that the value of the packer is crucial to the honey industry.
we as beekeepers cant possibly manage the packing capacity that is needed to market the overwhelming crop we produce. That's why we sign up contracts with packers to provide the service for us.
And because we trade internationally, we will aways have the influence of foreign honey, and world honey trade. It is a commodity.
I strongly agree with statement on the whole adulterated honey situation and honey substitutes. But not all foreign honey is adulterated.
We have to realize that
I'm a better marketer than beekeeper , and that is because of dealing dirctly with the end consumer for 30+ years. Of course we all take pride in producing a quality product. But quality is a very subjective term.
I had a lot of treefoil honey this year. I mean I was filling barrel after barrel with yellow honey. One custome told me it was the best honey I've had in 5 years. Couple of hours later, another customer said the honey wasn't as good as last years. So I guess I'm not sure if I produced a quality honey or not this year .
Sadly, most customers are not honey coniseurs. If it's not foul tasting, then it's fine honey.
I don't sell honey, I sell Squeak Creek Honey.
Do what you do best and what you enjoy doing the most. If you enjoy keeping bees and producing honey more than you enjoy marketing honey then sell your honey to someone who enjoys selling honey and is good at it.
www.uucantonny.org, "Support Our Troops"
What's the latest price for light amber and white? Keep in mind, I'm not looking to sell my excess honey as my retail business is growing (at much higher prices than $1.40 per pound), but I do have some extra between now and the summer.
I had an offer today for 5 barrels at $1.40 for light amber from a small commercial beekeeper looking to help out some of his customers that were out of honey. My impression is that $1.40 is low since they are the ones that don't have any honey left. I'm expanding my outfit from internal splits, etc. this year and it will cause me to produce less than I would like.
If I sell them 4 or 5 barrels, then I'm concerned that I'll be short this time next year with my customers. So the question is what is the current price (picked up at my dock not shipped)? Since, they called me I would expect to be paid around $1.50 to $1.60 Light amber.
Also, I guess that I could provide the honey now with the understanding that it is to be replaced during this spring's harvest from the commercial beekeeper's operation (I'm a sideliner) so I don't go short in the future... you know, good will, etc.
I spoke with 5 packers in and near WI this last week. 3 wanted honey and were offering $1.42(30 days)-$1.48(90 days) per lb for ELA and $1.38 per lb and up for LA. They would supply shipping.