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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    618

    Default State Honey Label Requirements

    I am in the process of creating a new bottling label for retail sales of honey. We sell mostly at farmers markets etc. I have searched all over the internet and can't find any listing for the laws of individual states for label requirements. I am in New Mexico. I called our Div of Agriculture and they said they didn't "think" they had any specific requirements. I have found online that if your a honey "packer" that federal laws mandate that you put the country or origin on the label, if you also carry the USDA seal. I assume this is for honey sold in drums only? I was going to put my company name, New Mexico Pure Honey, and maybe the weight of the honey according to the size jar i'm using (1 lb or 2 lb jars) and thats about it. Does anyone know of any available information regarding what different states require by law? Or federal law for that matter. I want to do the labels once not twice. Thanx.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Take a look at Mannlake .com They have basic labels that should be good just about anywhere. Check the FDA for label requirements in your state or your local health dept. Your local health dept. should be able to point you in the right direction since they usually over see the food processing industry.
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Most states I believe have what they call Tailgate Laws;
    That means YOU can sell YOUR honey at a farmers market or at your home address with out any problems.
    If you wholesale to a grocery store, a whole new set of laws take affect, a whole new ballgame !

    PCM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    The word "Honey" must be larger type than any other word on the label. The Company name or producer name should be on the Label. The address must appear on the Label. The Weight of the honey should be in the center, near the bottom of the label.

    Only packers who pack over a certain amount of honey need the country of origin on ther label, if you sell honey from other countries. Are you planning on selling forgien honey? If you sell only US Honey, you don't need Country of Origin on the Label.

    Maybe there is a Weights and Measures Dept. in your State who could tell you what is required.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
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    577

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    The word "Honey" must be larger type than any other word on the label. The Company name or producer name should be on the Label. The address must appear on the Label. The Weight of the honey should be in the center, near the bottom of the label.

    Only packers who pack over a certain amount of honey need the country of origin on ther label, if you sell honey from other countries. Are you planning on selling forgien honey? If you sell only US Honey, you don't need Country of Origin on the Label.

    Maybe there is a Weights and Measures Dept. in your State who could tell you what is required.
    Can you tell me where you found these label requirements please?
    Thanks-Howard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,225

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    Can you tell me where you found these label requirements please?
    Thanks-Howard
    I don't recall where I got them from. I would think that your NC Dept of Weights and Measures, or the equivelent, would be able to tell you what is required. Or, you could just go to your local grocery store, Food Lion or Piggly Wiggly, and look at the labels on honey jars on the shelf. Local Brands, if they carry them, and Store Brand especially.

    You may find things denoted that you don't need, such as Country of Origin, but everything you do need should be there. You can always do more than required, if you think it will help sell your honey.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Most states do not have a honey standard. Florida does and NC is working toward putting one in place. There is an effort afoot to get a National Honey Standard. It would be a good thing that would protect us honest beeks/honey producers from those who adulterate the honey they sell. Check out http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/Honey%20Standard.pdf. Maybe you want to get it started in NM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Weight in ounces and kilograms.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,033

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Check the FDA for label requirements in your state or your local health dept.
    The FDA is Federal and has no requirements for honey. It is when you start shipping across state lines that you have to worry about making other states happy. I wouldn't go nuts on the labels until you want to get serious. At that point the processing of the honey will be more of a concern than the label. If you put your name and address on the label you are implying that it is your honey not someone else's. If yours is all gone and you then get a customer that whats more the temptation is to supply them with someone else's... with your label or theirs???
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,033

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    I would leave the weight off unless you are going to measure (and that brings in a whole bunch of calibrations issues). Just tell the customer what size jar they are buying.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Can't give the source for Mark B's info, but here is similar info with sources included. Kindly note that the net weight IS A REQUIREMENT, not something to be omitted on a whim.

    From Nat'l Honey Board, http://www.honey.com/nhb/industry/labeling-information/

    Labels MUST communicate the following:

    The “Common” Name of the Product
    The word “honey” must be visible on the label. The name of a plant or blossom may be used if it is the primary floral source for the honey. Honey must be labeled with its common or usual name on the front of your package. (i.e. “Honey” or “Clover Honey”)

    Net Weight
    The net weight of your product (excluding packaging), both in pounds/ounces and in metric weight (g) must be included in the lower third of your front label panel in easy-to-read type. (i.e. Net Wt. 16 oz. (454 g)) When determining net weight, use the government conversion factor of 1 ounce (oz) = 28.3495 grams or 1 pound (lb.) = 453.592 grams. Round after making the calculation – not before. Use no more than three digits after the decimal point on the package. One may round down the final weight to avoid overstating the contents. When rounding, use typical mathematical rounding rules.

    Ingredients
    Single ingredient products (such as honey) do not have to name that single ingredient when already used in the common or usual name on the front panel. However, if there are ingredients other than honey, you must list them in an ingredient statement. Some exceptions are spices, flavorings and incidental additives (additives which have no functional role and with minimal presence in the finished product) which have special rules.

    The type size for ingredient listings must be no less than 1/16th inch as measured by the small letter “o” or by the large letter “O” if all caps are used in the declaration. There are exemptions that allow smaller type sizes for small packages.

    Contact Information
    The label must let consumers know who put the product on the market and how to contact that person. The name and the address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor of a packaged food product are required to appear on the label of the packaged food. This information, sometimes referred to as the “signature line,” must appear on the front label panel or the information panel. If space permits, include full address and telephone number. The information must be in a type size that is at least 1/16th inch tall.


    From MN Dept of Ag, http://www.mda.state.mn.us/food/safety/honeylabel.aspx

    These instructions apply to liquid and comb honey only, not processed honey, which has all the requirements of processed food.

    The principal display panel must be large enough to clearly accommodate all required label information without crowding or obscuring designs. All information on the label must be prominent and conspicuous, but in no case may the letters and numbers be less than 1/16 inch high.

    Product identity must be on the label, i. e., honey. A complete list of ingredients, if other than honey, including standardized food products, must be on the label in order of predominance by weight if there are two or more ingredients. All artificial colors must be specifically listed. Include your name, and address (including zip code) on the label.

    The net quantity of contents must be expressed in terms of weight or measure. This declaration of contents must be expressed both in ounces and full unit if one to four pounds, or one pint to one gallon. The metric equivalent is sometimes required. The declaration must be located in the lower one-third of the label separated from all other print. If the weight is more than one pound, fractions of a pound are expressed as a decimal, e.g., 1 1/2 pounds is 1.5 lb. The declaration must be in letters and numbers in a type and size relative to the area of the label panel of the package as follows:

    Not less than 1/16 inch in height for a label of 5 square inches or less.
    Not less that 1/8 inch in height for a label of more than 5 square inches but less than 25 square inches.
    Not less than 3/16 inch in height for a label more than 25 square inches.

    To convert ounces to grams multiply by 28.4 and round off to grams. To convert pounds to grams multiply by 454.

    Don't make health claims on a food label. Health claims are subject to special nutritional labeling.

    All labeling must be truthful and accurate. Food standards must not be violated.

    The US Grade is required on honey labels. Grade is primarily moisture; Grade A = 18.6% moisture and freedom from defects (no foreign material) if filtered.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,225

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Tia View Post
    Most states do not have a honey standard.
    Which has nothing to do w/ what is required on the Label, except that what is in the jar be what is on the label. HONEY.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by guyross View Post
    Weight in ounces and kilograms.
    Pounds and ounces are traditional and required if selling at a mkt or especially a store. From your home, not so much. But, if you are having them printed, have them made so you can use them under all conditions. To save cost of production.

    Sometimes metric units are found in parenthesise after weight in standard units. But, it isn't required.

    All of my Labels have 8oz., 1lb., 2lb., 5lb. printed on them in the center close to the bottom of the label w/ nothing below it. Comb honey is sold by each, not by weight. Weight on comb honey is not necassary. Some people sell Ross Rounds w/ a weight measure on the Label. I believe the printed labels for Round Combs, which come from Dadant or Mann Lake or where ever, state 8 oz.

    Excellent DeeAnna. Good job.

    I see nothing wrong w/ selling honey under my Label which didn't come from my own hives. I do it all the time. My cols don't go to FL or Maine, so they don't make Citrus or Blueberry Blossom honey. I know who I am buying from, I buy from the producer. Labels for those varietal honeys say "Produced by friends of Squeak Creek Apiaries".

    All the other honey I buy is produced by cols in the same area as mine, the St. Lawrence Valley. Once I buy it, when I do, I mix theirs and mine and label it under my Squeak Creek Apiaries label. There is nothing underhanded in doing so. People buy Squeak Creek Honey for many reasons. Me being one of those reasons. Locally produced being another. One must know their product and stand behind it. Just like Mann Lake does. Mann Lake doesn't produce everything which bears the name Mann Lake.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I see nothing wrong w/ selling honey under my Label which didn't come from my own hives. I do it all the time....I know who I am buying from, I buy from the producer. Labels for those varietal honeys say "Produced by friends of Squeak Creek Apiaries".
    Exactly right Mark. As far as I can tell, almost no one does this.

    I believe that the only Agency that has looked at our labels critically is the State Health Dept. We have a certified food production/wholesale facility (required if you are bottling any amount of honey that you didn't produce from your own hives....probably one reason why beeks around here don't talk about buying in honey)...and we are inspected annually.

    deknow

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,033

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    I am in the process of creating a new bottling label for retail sales of honey. We sell mostly at farmers markets etc.
    I would leave the weight off unless you are going to measure
    It's what I would do.

    All labeling must be truthful and accurate.
    How do you prove accuracy without a calibrated scale?

    When most people buy from a farmers market they assume the person selling is the supplier especially when their personal name is written on the label. If it is a company name not so much. Stores don't care where the honey comes from. That's why we don't buy from them.

    All labeling must be truthful and accurate.
    Be very careful about pasting labels on food products that you don't have documentation to prove its validity. In other words, don't try to be a big boy if you are not. Better to stay under the radar.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    I've been and so have many others who have posted, have been where you are right now. Get it right the first time. Selling in stores requires alot of information and the information is also required to be a certain font size. I know i am in Canada, but labelling between both countries are somewhat the same. Four us, we are also required to grade the product. Grading requires the use of a refractometer for moisture content and a Jack's color scale. Both the weight and grade must be a certain font size depending on the size of container. Your product will also have to be lotted. This is important for traceback. If you buy honey to sell under your label, it should come with a source ID...who what where, when, and a lot number. Then when you bottle it, it should have a lot number you give it...all for traceback. Trace back is important incase some one gets sick or it is found to have a problem. The lot numbers should define what bee yard and extraction (ie 1st, 2nd extraction). Do not give all your honey the same lot number The reason is, if your honey is found to be in question, how do you prove to the USDA which honey came from where when the lot number is all the same....make sense. So for us, our lot number gives the yard, date by year, month, day it is extracted. It is important to keep good records.

    You are also required to have a nutrition facts label which your national honey council will probaby have as a download in PDF format. If not, Mann Lake as approved nutrition facts labels.

    Your scale needs to be an inspected scale. Start at restaurant supply stores, then look in the yellow pages under the heading of scales. From there, they will point you in the direction of purchasing a scale which is certified. Then according you your federal laws, your scale will have to be inspected at stated intervals.
    Ours are inspected yearly. We bought a digital scale for around the $200 mark. It is a table top one with that increases at .05grams. It also converts from grams, KG, ounces and pounds.
    Start off buying a scale which is inspected. Buying one which is not and going to get it inspected costs as much or more than buying an inspected scale.
    Most major centers have stores which inspect scales because of factories, gas pumps, mining and what not. I just started looking in the yellow pages of our closest major city

    In order to sell in stores, your extraction and bottling facilitues need to be certified, probably, and i am guessing here, by the USDA...our CFIA equivalent. Being inpsected is not a bad thing. Getting the paper work in place and the first audit done is probably the hardest. After that the yearly audits are easy. Not because the big feds let things slide then, but that you know what is expected and can honor that commitment.

    One last tid bit... Our grading is, well for example...Canada No 1. Well Canada #1 does not mean that it is from the country of Canada, but that it meets the Canadian set standards for #1 honey in both color and clarity, and moisture. COOL (country of origin labeling ) is different. This states the country from which it comes from. And often in stores it is on the back in very fine print.

    Really the last tid bit. In Canada, and i am not sure about the US standard, but we are required to sell in specific sizes jars. So, unless we are given a special permit to sell in other sizes, for us, the standard sizes are, 250g, 375g, 500g, 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, 2.5kg and so on. I gather from seeing on line some products searches, there might be some standard sizes in the US as well.
    Last edited by honeyshack; 08-15-2011 at 12:20 PM. Reason: more info, and some grammar

  18. #18
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Aren't you glad you asked what the requirements are???
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    How do you prove accuracy without a calibrated scale?

    Be very careful about pasting labels on food products that you don't have documentation to prove its validity.
    You buy honey jars, fill to the proper level and apply the label w/ the corresponding weight on it. Calibrated scales aren't necassary.

    Your other comment? I don't know what sort of documentation you think you are writting about.

    Nutrition Facts Labels are only required for those Selling over a certain amount of honey. Measured in tons, I believe. Someone else will have to help you there.

    Glad you asked, Acebird? Why not? How else would they learn? Maybe if you didn't fly under the radar you would learn these things too.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,725

    Default Re: State Honey Label Requirements

    I dont sell much (4 cases so far this year), but all of my honey in packaged in un-labled, 1-pint mason jars. When I feel the need to establish "brand presence", I may start labling it. Or, if I start selling enough to attract the attention of local authorities.

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