Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 51
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Question The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    It is a common practice for honey sellers to buy honey from other operations and sell that honey as their own.

    What are your thoughts on that?

    It seems that a lot of potential issues can arise from this.

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Ever hear of Sue Bee? Probably more honey is sold that way than not. I sell most of mine to local beekeepers. They are not eating it, nor are they asking me for my labels.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Probably more honey is sold that way than not. I sell most of mine to local beekeepers. They are not eating it, nor are they asking me for my labels.
    I retail 10% of my honey, the rest I sell to other beeks also.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Do you ever drink wine? Blending of all sorts or just outright purchase and re-label is common practice across many industries....BUT...it also IMPACTS your brand and how you label. If your operation prides itself on farm fresh, local or any other kind of quality or source claim I'd think it would be difficult to simply buy bulk and label as own. Labeling such as "treatment free", "farm fresh", "local" and "raw" would be hard to do HONESTLY if your buying bulk and reselling. After all, how do you know your source isn't simply doing the same? If you just want to sit in a farmers market and sell honey then buying bulk and being a middle man could work. I'd think the goal would be to fetch a premium price for you products and the only way I know how to do that and be a CONVINCING salesperson is to BELIEVE in your products. When it comes to farm products that means overseeing every facet INCLUDING production.

    Just my .02

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,305

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    I sell all my honey to other beekeepers who can't make enough to supply their customers. What potential issues are you worried about Adam?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,849

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    One emerging issue is DHS. They are starting to track honey back to the source to make sure it is safe for the public. If you cannot maintain the chain of custody, identify where a batch came from, they can do a stop sale and destroy.
    It is the same as every recall you have ever heard about. If you can isolate a problem to a specific lot, which they publish in a notice to the public, you only lose that lot. If you cannot isolate the source you are responsible to dispose of, and I do not mean wash down the drain or feed to the bees, everything.
    So far it has been pesticides or chemicals in the honey, or what was in the final jar was not all honey. They do not play around. They pick up the product, destroy the product, and send you a bill with an administrative fee tacked on including the hotel stay and dancing girls.
    It could be as simple as keeping a record of your sources, or labeling the barrels by source, or as complex as batch numbers with the source(s).
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,944

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    I think I might be perfect for this job!
    Can I get get a little more information on the rules for billing out the dancing girls?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,849

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    As long as they serve your meal, even if it is from your lap, it is a travel expense.
    I cannot even get an overnight hotel stay or meals for traveling to the limits of Florida. Beekeepers are paying for my trips to Chipley and Wisconsin.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    ...What potential issues are you worried about Adam?
    I'm not worried about anything personally. But I am surprised beekeepers as a whole don't take more heat from clients and regulators for doing it - and I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing comes under increasing scrutiny over time (I guess it already is).

    The thing is, that beekeepers already enjoy a place of "goodness" in the eyes of the general public. Overall, I think it's safe to say, that while many people are afraid of bees, beekeepers still enjoy a positive stereotype - being "honest and good" in public perception.

    But let's face it, honey is food. And people are getting increasingly concerned with where their food is coming from, and the practices of producers.

    I have seen some pretty dirty honey houses over the years, and heard of even dirtier. I've also heard some pretty hair-raising stories of management practices surrounding chemical miticides.

    Now, perhaps more than any time in history, beekeepers are beginning to divide themselves and compete in the honey market based on their degree of 'natural', 'chemical-free', 'organic', etc. Our divisions are having an effect on customer preferences. The general public is becoming interested in our practices as they pertain to the quality of their food. People are beginning to see that not all honeys are created equal. We shout that message, as the industry fights illegal importation from places like China. We scream foul when big producers blend in that 'bad' honey

    How do you think the public perception of the good and honest beekeeper would change if the general public was as aware as we all are, of how often honey is sold as the product of a particular person, from a particular area, following particular practices - when in fact it is not at all? Often times, the seller really has no idea what's behind the honey they're selling as their own.

    I'm not a honey buyer, and I'm not a honey seller. So at this point, it doesn't affect me much. But I am a professional in the communication business, and I'll tell you this: A positive image in the eyes of the public is invaluable. And when such an image gets tarnished, or people feel betrayed by a stereotype they trust - that image can take a hard fall.

    The root of the issue is in falsehood. How much of an issue it is lies in the degree. If a seller is transparent, or really well-aware and confident in the product as being close enough to their own - then great. People are likely going to be cool with that.

    But the fact is, there's a whole lot of white lyin' goin' on, and some of it's not so white. It seems to me, that many of us are running a double standard. When it comes to imported honey or big producers, we're screaming that all honey is not equal. But when it comes to smaller businesses filling orders to 'folks' at the market, all of the sudden it's all the same.

    Doesn't that seem like a nest of issues to you?

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    My honey sales this season were the best ever. I averaged over 100 lbs of honey off each over wintered hives. I never had more than a 1000lbs of honey. As fast as I could extract it.................gone.

    Most went to wholesale to retailers, followed closely to other beeks for thier repackage, and lastly to mead makers who gladly took 60lb pails by the dozen.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,353

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    There's that God almighty dolor thing again. I sell out every year but I'll be danged if I'll put my name on someone else’s honey.
    Im really not that serious

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,308

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    I am a large commercial producer. We take a lot of pride in our product. We sell it to large commercial packers who accept it only when it passes their stringent testing. We don't even attempt to market it ourselves, there just aren't enough hours in the day. That is how the great majority of honey is sold in the US. Is there something wrong with this? There seems to be a recurring theme on here that only the small producer who is marketing honey directly from his or her own hives is truly selling a pure product and that all other honey is just second rate "commercial" honey. I am all for pride in ones products as I am certainly proud of ours but why cast suspicions on others?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    When we tested honey off the shelf, one beekeeper had honey (purchased in bulk at a "bee farm" owned by a large migratory operation) that tested 15 and 20‰ beet sugar. The same large migratory operation has honey on the shelf under their own name.....this tested pure.
    Of course the smaller beekeeper isn't going to have the honey tested....the large retail chains might, and the packers do.

    So, the small beekeeper is essentially starting their relationship with the customer with a lie, doesn't know what they are selling, can't use the excuse that they were lied to or bought in honey that wasn't as advertised, and the migratory operation has a way to dump the stuff that won't test well, and still gets their pure honey on the shelf with their name on it. Who is left to blow the whistle?
    In addition, in MA, we are allowed to bottle and sell our own honey without a certified kitchen......not so if you buy in honey. So, another reason not to tell the truth about the source.

    Deknow

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,308

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Come on Dean what do the terms "large" or "migratory" have to do with anything. This is a question of ethics. Either you got em or ya don't.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    ...absolutely. There are certainly plenty of hobbyists and sideliners who's honey is tainted with feed.
    As far as I know, there is only one migratory beekeeper with a facility in MA, so it shouldn't be too hard to interpretation my general comments as specific.
    Note that what I described has the small beekeeper selling unpurre honey, and the honey sold by the packer in the large chain from the migratory commercial operation was pure.

    Deknow

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,587

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    If you are going to buy honey to sell under your own label, know your source.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    ....and know _their source!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,587

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    At some point one runs into beehives. I appreciate Dean's call for caution. At some point, unless you are going to do lab testing, faith and trust come into the equation, don't they?

    If one feels the need to, and can afford to, test, there is nothing wrong w/ doing so and it may actually be the responsible thing to do. Trust, but verify.

    I don't think we are going to see very many responses to this Thread from folks like Jim Lyon and beekeepers who produce and sell but do not pack the honey they sell. But, like Jim wrote, that is how the majority of the honey gets to market. Someone produces it and sells it to someone who puts it in a jar and sells it or sells it to someone else who puts it in a jar.

    What do you have against making a living, mac?
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 10-25-2012 at 09:39 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    The root of my question is in falsehood.

    I'm wondering about the practice of buying honey as if it were all one and the same, and then selling it as if it were unique. A lot of bigger producers sell "wildflower honey", or "pure, Nova Scotia honey" or whatever, and that seems pretty easy to do without too much in the way of BS. You can buy from a lot of people and package it under a label with those words, and it all works. But if the seller sells honey from another country - then it's a lie. Does it matter?

    My question is centered on the degree of untruth. And the degree of untruth.

    If I sell "Halifax Honey" from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but then fill orders with honey from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, it's a lie, but not a huge one. It's still "local" to a degree. But if I sell "Halifax Honey produced chemical-free, treatment-free from bees raised in top bar hives", and then I fill orders with BillyBee honey from the grocery store, that's a bigger lie. And if Billybee's honey is 20% beet sugar, it's even worse.

    So what's the acceptable level of untruth?

    I raised bees this year in a guy's yard. I focused all summer on splitting and making bees, and in the end I had only three frames of honey, and I told him I'd give him some. Now I'm faced with extracting three frames. What a pain. It would be a simple thing to jar up some of my honey from last year - would he know the difference? No way.

    But then I thought of me being him. Would it matter to me then? Of course it would.

    So I went through the process of getting those three piddly frames extracted. And when I give him that honey, I'll look him right in the eye and tell him that it's the honey those bees made in his yard. And it'll be true.

    Does it matter? Or did I just waste a bunch of time? Is honey all the same, or not?

    Making a living is fine. And different industries have differing levels of 'error' or untruth that they will accept. Once the norm becomes untruth, the whole industry is forced by economics to play the same game.

    What the buying public does in reaction to the discovery of the untruth varies quite a bit. It just seems like beekeepers already enjoy quite an honest and "good" place in public perception. So why not work to keep it?

    Adam

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,587

    Default Re: The practice of selling honey from other opertations under your 'label'

    Set your own standards and do the best you can. What more can you do?

    Did you tell your landowner that you would give him honey from the hives you had on his land? Then I think you boxed youirself into having to do what you did. Perhaps next time you will tell your landowners that you keep bees ina number of different locations in the local area and the honey you give them might not come from the hives on their land. I have little doubt that they will be just as pleased. Though exceptions abound.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads