Ron Phipps August HONEY MARKET UPDATE REGARDING ARGENTINE HONEY
Ron Phipps August HONEY MARKET UPDATE REGARDING ARGENTINE HONEY
RT @honeybroker: Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves... http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/honey-laundering/
NOw that is a really really good article! FDA has refused to pass a standard for honey and now it looks like the reason is they would have to actually work for their salary. As a gereral rule Ill bet a person in FDA works 1/2 has hard as a beekeeper and has less invested in their education as a beekeeper does in his buiness. In general federal workers make 4 times as much as the public worker and I will guarantee work easier. Now on to SUe Bee I'm not suprised at their not returning messages...they are one of the major players of importing chinese honey! With nice clover (labeled that way) honey on the shelf of sams club stores for 11.50 for 5 lbs of US clover honey something is wrong. You cannot pay 1.70/lb for honey and sell it for 2.10 a lb and break even. Sue members should take control of their coop and fire all officers and start over selling "good " honey! I still cant believe sue members let their board get away with what they do to their members! We all need to call FDA and demand action!
Rick, some of those 2.10 a pound prices were pre-contracted. You know yourself you have to fill the contract at the pre-agreed price or loose it. If you check again, I think you will see much higher prices. What Sioux is paying the members will increase as the demand on the market increases. Sioux has been packing last years crop, that explains what Rick is seeing. Last years crop was purchased around a 1.50 a pound with bonus. That is a .60 cent spread difference between 2.10 and 1.50. Rick, I have been to two Sioux plants-the one in North Carolina and the main plant in Sioux City, Iowa. I have never seen any of these gazzillion Chinese honey drums that you keep claiming are in Sioux's warehouses. All I ever see are thousands upon thousands of members drums-black in color. TED
While I will admit that SHA at times works in mysterious ways I think it's safe to assume that their primary motive in anything they do is to increase their bottom line and hence the earnings for their members. Implied in your posting is that SHA is selling tainted honey. My take on Sue is that they run a pretty rigorous testing program in their lab, in fact one of the main complaints that I hear is that when they find honey that dosent meet their specs (possibly its antibiotics, or heavy metals, or suspected adulteration, or maybe its simply moisture, flavor or color) they simply reject it most likely because it was not what it was originally represented or sampled as. I have sold them honey and have found them to be very prompt in paying and their word has always been good. They will not, though, issue a check until it passes all of their tests, they are very clear about that. Seems to me that if everyone followed this model then we wouldnt have the problems that we currently have. Unfortunately there are those who choose to resell honey that clearly is of questionable safety and origin, I think that folks should save their vitriol for these shady operations. If there are those that feel that SHA is one of the aforementioned packers then lets hear the evidence. But if the main complaint is that they are way too price competitive then you will have to convince me how that in itself is illegal. My assumption is that they have the packing facilities the labor force and the contracts and if they can even make a few cents a pound then they probably consider it a worthwhile endeavor, if they are losing money on the deal then they probably wont be doing it for long.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
I'm not confident in the USDA's predictions this year - I know 15 states are in a severe drought. I also know the government is pushing ethanol..... I believe this crop will fall short and with the price over $7 per bushel, the markets don't show they predict a big crop either.
Just my 2 cents......
Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....
Checked out honey at my local store. Sue had one thing on the shelf, a 12 oz bear. It was the more expensive than 2 of the other bears, and only 2-3 cents less than the most expensive brand. Bears have always been a huge part of Sue business.
Ted, your on to the story about how much was paid for the honey Sutton is seeing. No question that was last years crop and contract. The new crop is just starting to roll in. Sue also buys a lot of honey from non member beekeepers. I know of honey purchased at the $1.40 - $1.45 level last summer.
Sutton also says the honey on the shelf was not white. That means some of that honey was darker and purchased for less than top dollar price last year. Right?? Ok, sounds like a Wal-Mart thing to do, contract to buy something less than the best available. I'm sure it wouldn't be the first thing I bought there that was second best, but it got me by for that week.
We are talking about the rock bottom, bulk supply, OMG that's a low price club membership store, right? Everything should be sold at a razor thin margin. Except honey, because it's somehow different than cheap pork or beef or the 8 gallon jug of ketchup we buy.
Don't forget promotions, inventory clearing, mistakes, and Loss Leaders that happen at Wal-Mart and other chains
Don't forget Sue members automatically donate to fund the anti dumping campaigns and efforts to stop transshipped honey. Real money. Many years it has been 1/4 to 1/2 a cent per pound. The formula is new this year. Our automatic donations will be larger I believe. I think it will be several hundreds of thousand of dollars plus what members give on a volunteer basis. Money well spent.
Ryan I have been a Sue member a very long time now. I have always been a proud Sue member and will continue to be so.Rick is a friend of mine. He rants on Sue and gives me a hard time about being a Co-op member. I do not know the source of the rage with in, but it must be more than "Chinese Honey". TED
At a recent regional SHA meeting the Sioux staff member was wondering how Sams can get by with marking up the 5 lbers. so little. They just run a tight ship, something Rick wouldn't be opposed to. By the way, one can tell if private label honey is packed by SHA or somebody else is by looking at the country of origin. If it's US, SHA packed it. Can your packer claim the that?
Ted dont take it personal...hahaha. Go google seattle times honey laundering. A five part series a reporter did on chinese circumvented honey. THe reporter traced a container of honey from china to a address used to relabel as made in a third world country to port in Jacksonville Fl to Sioux City iowa. When he ask sue do you import chinese honey answer was NO. Then he presented them the evidence and they said well we try not to. (haha) Dont you think if a reporter could trace is Sue knew where it was from? With what Ive been told and seen I highly suspect SUE members are not always told the whole truth nothing but the truth. Lets look at the 60 cent spread....back in the early 1990's I was talking to a major packer. At the time I was bottling and selling to 96 kroger stores and my overhead (utilities insurance shrinkage labor building and transportation to my building ran about 10 cents a pound and suprisingly he said his did too. I have no idea what it is today but you can bet its more. The container they are suing cost me (simular one) about 90 cents, so Ill bet it cost sue at least 50 cents. now 20 cents of the 60 is gone. (1.50 was cheap last year most sold for 1.60 and If ted get his bonus you have to deduct it. I understand contracts ect but that is not much margin and profit for sams club and sue less their transportation between warehouses deducted and other cost.
The big problem we have as beekeepers that sell to packers is the quality of honey on the shelf and even worse in portion packs. No wonder my sales of honey have gone thru the roof. You never see good nice light clover honey on the shelf, the honey at sams was in the extra light amber color or dark end of white. the main reason for this is most large chains put out bids and who bids the cheapest gets the contract....regardless of how it taste or blended to achieve the low price. It use to be on large restaurant chain wanted US clover honey, then it was us honey and then light amber honey and now as long as the label says honey they are fine. I dont think a starving bee would eat it, taste worse than castor oil. this restaurant chains has probably turned off many children to eating honey(they do not get it from sue). It just seems to me a members coop would promote quailty and not import crap to blend in to achieve a better profit or sell cheap.
Bill not saying they do or dont but you can print anything on a label lots of sourwood sold here.....even in years with no sourwood flow
I wont go in to all the details as there is another post on here I made about comparing apples and oranges(getting paid now, 30 days and like sue over a year period after delivery) and subtracting interest and the percentage of your crop sue takes as operating capitol and what you could buy to grow business or debt paid off and save interest. I might someday broker my friend Teds honey for him and make him some money. My anti SUe started when they were selling bears for 83 cents each in 2001, driving the price of honey down. I was representing the National Honey Board at the Wisconsin meeting and was asked by my friend Mr. Wally Dienelt of Honey Acres (one of the most knowledgeable honey packers I ever met who help me alot even taking me thru his plant long ago) why the price of honey was going down so fast. All this is on a post here and I gave my apples and oranges speech and told price Sue was selling for. Some of Sue management was at the meeting and strongly denied it, and left the meeting. I got calls for ABF president and NHB president on Monday morning as Sue was throwing a fit. I did take my NHB and ABF director hat off and spoke as Rick Sutton beekeeper. Long story short, at the ABF meeting in Louisville about 5 years ago one of sue's management admitted to me that my figures were right but they didnt want their members to know at that time.
The question I have Rick, did the container of honey make it through the Sue lab???? That is a BIG question. I have seen members honey rejected, too much of something that should have not been there.... I have seen Ukrainian honey Rejected by the Sioux lab because it was transhipped from somewhere else. I have seen Ukrainian honey accepted because it was truly what was on the bill of laden-Ukrainian honey. I have marked on the shipping label what I thought the source of honey was, only to be told that it was something else because of the Labs pollen analysis methodology. Thus the Sioux lab works hard at certification that only quality honey is used in the Sioux system. So this brings me back to the Chinese honey. If it passed the Sioux Lab analysis, then it was truly honey. Honey that could be used for most likely industrial usage. Thus putting a few extra dollars in the membership's pocket, that is what Co-ops are suposed to do. And Sioux does it well. Can you say that your honey goes through such a stringent Labratory analysis????? TED KRETSCHMANN
Now that was a great comeback TED! Gotta give it to ya, very well written article. No I dont go thru a Sue lab as i dont sell to Sue and as you know I bottle most of my honey, but do on occasion sell to a major packer who test for any contamination. Since I dont use any fluvinuate or chumophus strips or rags or whatever i dont have any issues with those thigs. I know you love sue as much as i dislike what they do. I just happen to think their members(including you ) could do even better if they managed it differant. I also think that if you took the apples and oranges deal of figuring out how much you loose in interest paid or what you could do with the capitol that sue retains(for those of you who dont know If you join SUE as a new member they retain somewhere around 10 percent of your gross for the first 7 or 10 years. I'm not sure what exactly it is but lets just say 10 years. thats 100 percent of one years gross honey sales they retain over the first years of your membership for operating capitol. If you produce 2 1/2 semi loads (100,000 lbs or about 150 barrells) that would be about $175,000 of your hard earned money(the cream) Sue would retain for operating. What could you do to make more money with that or for that matter pay off. Interest rates will not stay this low forever....with operating capitol interest rates at about 10 percent(in long term average) thats 17,500 per year gone in interest payments. gotta compare price to price and the way I always figured it was since Sue pays some with in 30 days some later and finally about a year later you get final check that to break even you needed about 12 percent more to break even with SUE which at todays prices would be around 20 cents per pound more that you woudl have recieved from say dutch gold or barkmans who pay generally on net 30.
southern Mn and Wisco very good crop but fewer beeks there to cash in. most years not the best place to bee in these two states.
the main area of beekeepers in MN along I94 to western state line is terrible crop with 8-10 inches rain in July. many long time beekeepers with under 30 pound average. this area of rain extends back into Nodak and poor crop there too in central part of state. overall i see very low crop in this usual big honey producer region and I have many contacts.
i predict a lower US crop then last year. prices in upper 1.80 a reality now for fall sales.
I have reason to believe that Sue bee honey does not stand up to a IR absorption spectrophotometer test. I dropped off a sample of my own honey, and Sue's "Clover" , and am expecting lab results soon. I am also trying to develop the "standard" clover honey, with out any chance of feed included. Christian and I saw this piece of equipment operate, and it has the potential to solve, or create alot of problems for us.
my friend Mr. Wally Dienelt of Honey Acres (one of the most knowledgeable honey packers I ever met who help me alot even taking me thru his plant long ago)
Correction: The late Wally Diehnelt( he never spells it right)
Roland, why do you think that Sue honey will not stand up to the IR absorption spectrophotometer test??? Inquiring minds like mine would like to know. TED
Roland thanks for getting Ted off my case and onto yours!! hahaha I hadnt heard Wally had passed on, you have my deepest sympathy, I thought the world of him. I remember at one of my first National Beekeeping meetings. I think it was in minneapolis in 1984 that he sat down with me and gave me alot of pointers on lots of things about honey. I had been a beekeeper for 7 years and was starting to buy and pack some honey. Still green behind the ears as I was 27 and looked 21 he taught me alot then and many times since over the years. A true friend. I never did learn to spell his name,but I got better and close...only missed it by one letter this time!
My bees in Wisconsin have also had a good year. The load in central wi would have been a bumper crop but it got dry and I took Teds suggestion and ran around honey house butt naked doing a rain dance,,,,its Teds fault he never told me to do it just one time...so I did it 14 times....got 14 inches of rain in 4 days. really hurt the knapweed flow which was in full bloom. Still we had a good crop.