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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Is that testing expensive? Does the analysis have to be for specific chemicals or pesticides in general?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Plus, being a genetic engineer I think most people fear GMO's for the wrong reasons.
    I know why I fear them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Omie,

    I am all for that! I see no confusion there and it might even prompt a consumer who didn't know about bee diseases and treatments to do a little research and learn more about bees. I know before I was a beekeeper had I seen that on a label of honey I would have been interested in learning more.

    Sqkcrk,

    I hear ya I guess I just have a few residual frustrations over being duped by labels in the past myself and so I stress this topic of organics and natural a bit too much. I am learning here from all of you though and hopefully can figure out where I solidly stand at some point.
    Last edited by The Soap Pixie; 03-20-2011 at 08:54 AM.
    ~Michelle

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    I don't trust the government and I question their development of an organic standard.
    Standards are usually developed by industry. No "government" has the expertise to develop standards.

    I also do not try to SELL them honey.

    I also sell more honey each year,
    You are either actively trying to sell honey or you are not. It wouldn't seam as though you could do both.

    For your honey to be truly proven Organic
    For me it is pretty simple. Everyone can call their honey Organic regardless of what they do. You can't label the honey certified organic unless it is certified by what ever organization that does the certification. We raise chickens so we can have organic eggs. We even sell a few but they are just not certified organic eggs. I can guarantee you they are better than super market certified eggs though.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    For me it is pretty simple. Everyone can call their honey Organic regardless of what they do. You can't label the honey certified organic unless it is certified by what ever organization that does the certification. We raise chickens so we can have organic eggs. We even sell a few but they are just not certified organic eggs. I can guarantee you they are better than super market certified eggs though.
    At least in NY state, i believe the law is that one cannot even label their produce for sale with the word 'organic' unless it is certified organic.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Acebird,

    Correct me if I am wrong as I am still trying to understand all of this and if you have resources it helps. Didn't the NOP draft the organic standard and isn't the NOP a government entity and doesn't the government ensure compliance? I understand that NOP consists of a group of people not government per say but the government did put the program together correct?

    In Minnesota, as I understand, we cannot legally use the word organic on the label unless we are certified.

    I am not trying to speak for Sqkcrk, but I interpreted the point being made about selling as actually pushing a product. There are two types of sellers, those that offer a product for sale and those that "market" their product. Setting up shop and pushing that product by giving customers a lot of info on it and telling them why it is good is different than telling people you have have a product to sell and letting that product speak for itself.
    Last edited by The Soap Pixie; 03-20-2011 at 11:33 AM.
    ~Michelle

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Acebird,

    Correct me if I am wrong as I am still trying to understand all of this and if you have resources it helps. Didn't the NOP draft the organic standard and isn't the NOP a government entity and doesn't the government ensure compliance? I understand that NOP consists of a group of people not government per say but the government did put the program together correct?
    Government always consults the industry that it regulates when developing rules and guidelines.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getf...cct=nopgeninfo

    Except for operations whose gross income from
    organic sales totals $5,000 or less, farm and processing
    operations that grow and process organic agricultural
    products must be certifi ed by USDA-accredited
    certifying agents.
    At least in NY state, i believe the law is that one cannot even label their produce for sale with the word 'organic' unless it is certified organic.
    I find this hard to believe for honey because NY State doesn't even have a definition for what honey is. That is our first battle. If honey isn't defined how can you say it is not organic. If I put a label on my jars that reads "Honey that comes from organic sources" and I am a back yard beek how could someone or some entity dispute it unless they witnessed me dousing them with cems?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Soap Pixie View Post
    I am not trying to speak for Sqkcrk, but I interpreted the point being made about selling as actually pushing a product. There are two types of sellers, those that offer a product for sale and those that "market" their product. Setting up shop and pushing that product by giving customers a lot of info on it and telling them why it is good is different than telling people you have have a product to sell and letting that product speak for itself.
    I'm glad to read that you are not trying to speak for me, because I want no one to ever think of me as a "pusher". But, maybe that's what you meant. Because I do what you said last, I market my honey. And, if anyone has any questions about my honey, my phoner number and address is right there on the Label.

    Honey from the bees of Squeak Creek Apiaries is what it says on most Squeak Creek Honey Labels. Others say Natural North Country Honey from Squeak Creek Apiaries. On my van, it says, "Your Honey's Here!!".

    For a year, I had two spots on NCPR. I forget what they said, except something about being a supporting member of NCPR for twenty years.

    Tell people what they need to know and then be ready to answer whatever questions they may have.

    Your label should tell your target customer what they need to know so they can buy what they want. Such as "Squeak Creek RAW Honey". For those who want unstrained and unheated honey. My outlets know what my labels mean or know to call me.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Sqkcrk,

    Yes, that is what I meant. I interpreted your post as you saying you aren't pushing your product, you let the value of your product speak for itself and if someone had a question you are more than happy to answer I am sorry if my post wasn't clear, I was trying to say that I thought you were distinguishing between types of selling and not that you were claiming to be a pushy seller.

    Acebird,

    Than it is as I thought and I stand by my feelings on organic standards set by the government. The government is consulting with those in the body product industry right now to determine how to set a regulatory standard and I assure that they aren't always consulting with the right people nor do they always end up regulating the way the people.really want. Organic is no different and my fear about them setting legal standards for organic honey remain. There is already talk about the organic standard changing to accomodate GMO's, although that is another topic it just goes to the heart of what I am referring to.
    ~Michelle

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    That's what I thought you thought, but wanted to be sure.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    The government is consulting with those in the body product industry right now to determine how to set a regulatory standard and I assure that they aren't always consulting with the right people nor do they always end up regulating the way the people.really want.
    "the people" Who are the people? If the government did what the people wanted them to do we would have to be all republicans or all democrats and even then there would be differences. If you are thinking the government is law makers then the government will do what money influences them to do. I don't see getting around that problem.

    The consumer is the only thing that can influence what industry does over the long run. You know what you want. If the government waters down the definition of "Organic" then you will have to seek out "non tampered organic" as your standard. The chances are you will never get a government standard for "non tampered organic" because it will not be money driven. That doesn't mean you won't be able to get it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    I happen to believe we are a country of mainly moderates, not republican or democrat, with that said I think we are on the same page...somewhat... but by your response think maybe you aren't comprehending where I am coming from or what I am referring to so we will have to disagree on this topic of government regulation being on the side of the people. My thumbs can't work my phone keyboard efficiently enough to attempt.to explain what I am trying to convey.
    ~Michelle

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Mark, I really do not know what the baseline pesticide testing cost. It is part of the procedure to sell honey to Souix as a member or even as a non member. So after reading the thread, I think that organic honey would have to go to a lab and be certified as such. Much like Tupelo honey is certified as pure Tupelo honey. This is done believe or not by a Government lab. The plus is once the honey is Certified it will bring a huge premium. TK

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    but by your response think maybe you aren't comprehending where I am coming from or what I am referring to so we will have to disagree on this topic of government regulation being on the side of the people.
    Maybe a little of both. When you use a phrase like "on the side of the people" you have to define who the people are. Some people are for regulation and some people are against regulation. All most all topics have two sides.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    I was referring to the people in the industry. By industry I mean body product, by people I mean the small business owners, by not being on their side I mean because we are the ones that suppoerted the EWG in the beginning but it turned into being all about politics and money and not about supporting the concerns of the industry or protecting he healh of the general population. Which goes back to my point about government and organics and even the possibility of the organic standard changing to support GMO's. As I said, I don' t think you can understand what I am referring to because instead of discussing the possibility that standards being set can sometimes hurt small business owners and how we, as beekeepers can come to a consensus on labeling so that consumers don't have to question what they are buying all the time, or even just discussing what should be an organic standard for honey you are focussing on small details in my post and those of others. IF 90% of readers are finding it difficult to understand what I am saying then I will cut out of the forum since I.certainly don't want to leave an impression of myself that is inaccurate but if it is just you, I'll admit I am exhausted trying to clarify every word I use in each post.

    I will make myself clear as I can on the points I was trying to discuss.
    1. I think it would be nice if beekeepers cam to a consensus on what constitutes natural, pure, and organic. I think it would make labeling easier and it would be nice for the consumer because they'd know feom the start what it is they are getting and those beeks or "importers" who are dishonest would find.it harder to be so (not impossible but harder).

    2. I do agree wih gov. regulation, just don't always agree with he way it is done. I often think government is over zealous and not always on the side of the " people" and yes, I mean the moderates in the world. I am sure gov is on someones side when they are pocketing money.

    3. I buy organic for my family but I also believe there are 100's of organic farmers who due to the gov. regulation and the cost can't be certified. How does that benefit the small biz owner and the.people? By people, I mean those who want to buy organics.

    If we can create organic honey, SUPER, if we can't, that is ok too. I would just hate to see people using the organic label, consumera finding out the honey isn't organic, being angry enough to effect some type of regulation that would hurt the small beekeeper as is happening in other areas of biz right now. Becuase big gov likes to come in to shut.people up. When you have a buch of whiney consumers and trust me, I am one them and we have a right to be whiney, the gov. oftentimes, not always, will jump into regulating without evaluating the whole picture and you can agree or disagree and dicuss examples if you like but if I have to explain what I mean, then I am on the wrong forum.

    Sorry about the typos, I am using my phone to type and it has a mind of its own
    Last edited by The Soap Pixie; 03-21-2011 at 08:34 AM.
    ~Michelle

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    ...just skimmed over this thread...a few thoughts:

    1. If anyone is really interested in the current state of the proposed organic standards, here is a talk/discussion from about 1 year ago with 2 organic certifies at the organic conference in Arizona. I don't think anything has changed since this presentation. I don't really see the point in discussing it here, as folks seem more interested in talking about what their own ideas are about "what should be"...this is the baseline information to have a discussion (given that the label "organic" is regulated):
    http://www.vimeo.com/10211570

    2. Anyone that puts a label on a jar, has honey for sale on a shelf or table, or has product available to order online is "pushing" their product. For retailers, the most valuable thing in the world is shelf space...they know this is the best way to "push" a product.

    3. How do folks feel about "pure honey" that is 5%-30% beet sugar? How do folks feel about better testing methods that can detect substances (like rice syrup) that are not detectable with the current standard tests? How about tests that can detect down to 2% adulteration rather than the current 5%? How much feed would you think should be allowable in honey and still call it "pure"?

    deknow

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    deknow,

    I thought that was the very point of discussion. Sharing our own ideas of why we think what we do and then hashing it out with one another, learning new ideas and thoughts and maybe coming to a consensus on the group of ideas

    Thank you for the link!

    Just wanted to add that I am watching the video now and it is exactly what I was looking for!!
    ~Michelle

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    well, we could have a discussion about under what circumstances someone without a drivers license should be allowed to drive...but the discussion is moot, because there is a well regulated (and enforced) system for becoming licensed to drive, and regardless of what we think are reasonable reasons for driving without a license, it violates the law to do so.

    in the case of "organic", one does not need to be certified if one is selling below a certain amount of product/year.....but even in this case, you are required to actually be following the organic standard.

    but it's much more complicated..there is only a draft standard in the U.S. (but some states have their own standards, and some certifiers use other standards to certify organic operations), "livestock" standards appear to be in place and applied to bees, much of what exists legally is in direct conflict with other things that exist legally.

    add to this that the entire usda organic program is about methods used, and not about lab tests and residue levels (although they do come into play, you cannot certify something as organic just because it tests clean, it has to be produced according to the standard).

    fwiw, i'm all in favor of the "old skool" "organic movement"...but now, if you are going to talk about organic in relation to a product, you have to comply with the regulations. the regulations are not clear, and it is impossible to have a substantive discussion unless one is somewhat versed in what the regulations say and how they have been interpreted.

    deknow

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    I understand. Your point makes good sense.
    ~Michelle

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Organic Honey is Certified?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Soap Pixie View Post
    1. I think it would be nice if beekeepers cam to a consensus on what constitutes natural, pure, and organic. I think it would make labeling easier and it would be nice for the consumer because they'd know feom the start what it is they are getting and those beeks or "importers" who are dishonest would find.it harder to be so (not impossible but harder).
    ...this is the crux of the problem. everyone wants some kind of consensus...somehow this is supposed to be better than disagreement and contention. The truth, however, is that different kinds of operations have different interests. Imho, it is much better to recognize these differences than to pretend they don't exist.

    The status quo is particularly worth noting....the NHB (made up of importers who trade on buying honey or honey-like-products that they can sell as honey) wants honey to be seen as a commodity...all things labeled "honey" are essentially identical. The smaller producer is making a quality product and doesn't want to be included in this "commodity" system..they want "beekeeper produced honey" to be seen as something different...while, at the same time, many (if not most) will buy in honey that they can't trace and don't test when demand is high or supply is low and sell it as their own (and deny they are doing so).

    No one "in the industry" wants any talk of contaminated or adulterated honey...it sullies the reputation that honey enjoys as "the last pure food", and makes the consumer suspicious of all honey available.

    What do you think "beekeepers" can agree upon? Aproximately 99% of the bees in the U.S. are run by 1% of the beekeepers....can we assume that 99% of the domestic honey comes from those same 1%?...probably pretty close to the truth. The larger producers are producing some of the worst honey out there (as I stated before, we found 30% beet sugar in $11/lb honey "from an organic farm"...this came from a large producer originally).

    Truth is much more powerful than consensus. We should not be afraid to speak the truth and educate consumers.

    deknow

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