Packing organic honey without certification [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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First instar
11-25-2014, 06:42 PM
I would like to start packing certified organic honey, but I am not certified myself. Has anyone done this or know the rules? I am under the impression that I cannot use the word 'organic' on the front label or the usda organic logo anywhere on the package. But I can list organic honey as the sole ingredient and use the word organic on the back. Any info appreciated. Thanks

beeware10
11-25-2014, 06:56 PM
honey is certified. not the packer. there is no organic honey produced in the us. you will have to buy from south America and package. I think you need to do some homework.

Dan P
11-25-2014, 07:25 PM
I also wondered about these things and I found a couple of things. Check the attached site I think it was in section 4.
http://www.ocia.org/sites/default/files/_documents/EN-QS-M-003.pdf
I also found a organic honey. http://www.ysorganic.com/index.html
But it seems that none are actually usda approved but certified by other companies. Good luck and beware
Dan

greathorned
11-25-2014, 07:57 PM
LOL.......One of the Biggest Farces in the United States. I even witnessed fools selling in Ithaca, NY Organic Firewood at the Farmers market. Do yourself a favor. Look around where you live and ask yourself, is any modern agriculture going on? If so....Neonics likely in area. Is any of your neighbors utilizing Round-up, fungicides, pesticides or any thing else I am forgetting. THen ask yourself, "can any of these get into my hives?" and I think you will answer yes. Most hives are bringing in something not good. Cheers and check this awesome Ted Talks Video https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing

clyderoad
11-25-2014, 08:17 PM
greathorned: you're right on all accounts. Except that the fool is the one buying the firewood!

dsegrest
11-26-2014, 07:35 AM
greathorned: you're right on all accounts. Except that the fool is the one buying the firewood!

and the honey

First instar
11-28-2014, 05:04 PM
Both the honey and the packer need to be certified. The honey is all ready certified. Has anyone packed organic honey before?

sqkcrk
11-28-2014, 05:15 PM
You have certified organic honey to pack? Where did you get it? Who certified it organic? If it is certified organic what makes you think you can't put that on the front label? Have you thought to ask PA Weights and Measures or PA Dept of Ag Labeling Laws? They would be the authority, not some stranger on the internet.

But, as a stranger on the internet, I will tell you that if you have certified organic honey you can state so on the front label and you should.

Actually, if you don't have certified organic honey and you state so on your front label somebody will buy it anyway because the word organic is on the label. So what if "NOT" is too. So do what you want to do and tell us how it works out.

TylerStewart
12-03-2014, 11:01 AM
honey is certified. not the packer. there is no organic honey produced in the us. you will have to buy from south America and package. I think you need to do some homework.

Can someone clarify, labeling aside, if you had your hives 10 miles from the nearest sign of human life, why wouldn't it be "organic?" I get that you may not be able to claim organic, but to say that there's "no organic honey produced in the US" is what I'm trying to understand.

Dan P
12-03-2014, 11:53 AM
check the links I posted earlier. That is the only real information I could find.

mathesonequip
12-03-2014, 12:54 PM
it is my understanding that there is no usda standard for organic honey, so no honey produced in the usa is organic. imported honey may be certified wherever it came from but country of origin must be shown on the label [south America, eastern Europe , china, etc.]. it is not real clever to violate the usda laws.

Michael Bush
12-03-2014, 12:55 PM
> if you had your hives 10 miles from the nearest sign of human life, why wouldn't it be "organic?" I get that you may not be able to claim organic, but to say that there's "no organic honey produced in the US" is what I'm trying to understand.

Organic is a certification. The certification is based on the methods. It is not based on whether or not it got contaminated by pesticides. There is no testing. Since the USDA thinks it owns the term "Organic" and since they have no standard for honey, there is no USDA Organic honey in the US. There seems to be a lot of honey that claims to be, though.

Dan P
12-03-2014, 01:42 PM
http://www.ysorganic.com/index.html

TylerStewart
12-03-2014, 02:26 PM
I have a pound or two of honey at home from Costco, I think, that says "organic honey from the Sonoran Desert of USA and Mexico." Just came across this thread also, which says product of Brazil, but also says USDA Organic right on the label, Kirkland brand from Costco: https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?305588-Organic-Honey

My interpretation of it all, then, is that there's certainly organic honey being made, but the debate is in the labeling, or the use of the word organic within the US (even thought Costco is apparently going for it). It would be easy in a place like Nevada to have hives far far away from people (10+ miles, etc).

Dave Burrup
12-03-2014, 03:33 PM
Tyler, in the desert southwest you can indeed get bees far enough away from people and agriculture, but without irrigation can they produce enough honey to survive, and a surplus as well. If you have to move the bees into non-organic areas or feed them how can it be called organic.
Dave

TylerStewart
12-03-2014, 03:35 PM
Nevada being an example; you'd have similar available land in areas like Utah or Idaho that would have much more natural forage as well as natural water being available with easy ways to get bees 5+ miles from people. There are areas outside of Vegas with water dripping from out of the side of a mountain all year that almost nobody has ever seen in person, for example, so it's not totally dry.

Dave Burrup
12-03-2014, 04:28 PM
Tyler dripping water does not make honey. It takes acres of bloom for long periods of days to make a surplus beyond the needs of the hives. I have almost 18 acres of planted irrigated bee pasture plus the area around me and the last two years my bees have not made enough honey to harvest and get them through the winter without feeding. If I left all of the honey on the hives they would starve by January.

TylerStewart
12-03-2014, 05:07 PM
LOL, I think we are getting off on a tangent.

Dave Burrup
12-03-2014, 05:17 PM
The point I was trying to make is: there is no place in southern Idaho that could produce a marketable crop of organic honey. Even though we have a lot of federal land. The feds will not allow bees to be placed on federal land. You can put them next to federal land, on private ground, but then you are against agriculture.

mathesonequip
12-04-2014, 08:48 AM
there is a misconception of what "organic" means on a label. it means that the product has been produced by some one that is certified by a group that is approved by and recognized as meeting USDA organic standards. supposedly the producer is monitored by the certifying agency. it is a specification of production methods, much the same as kosher. there is no real gaurentee that the product is really any different in any way... in the case of milk the laboratory quality specs. are identical. the levels of allowed hormones of any type in the milk are identical. the levels of any chemicals allowed in the milk are identical. the big advantage is purely consumer impression and advertiseing. there is no usda organic honey standard.

sqkcrk
12-04-2014, 09:00 AM
So Don, are you saying that the words are actually "Certified Organic" and not just "Organic"? The words "Certified Organic" have to appear on a label together?

Has anyone else noticed that the OPer has left the conversation? W/ only 2 Posts to his credit? I find that curious.

Rader Sidetrack
12-04-2014, 09:16 AM
I linked this photo in a different thread, but here it is again ...

http://costcocouple.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kirkland-Signature-Organic-Honey-Costco-3.jpg Photo Credit (http://costcocouple.com/kirkland-signature-organic-honey/)

Note the use of the "USDA Organic" logo even though the honey was not produced in the USA.

Michael Bush
12-04-2014, 09:28 AM
I've seen a lot of honey labeled "USDA Organic". But since there is no USDA standard, I simply don't believe it.

cryptobrian
12-04-2014, 09:34 AM
Note the use of the "USDA Organic" logo even though the honey was not produced in the USA.

There isn't necessarily a requirement that a USDA organic product be produced (or certified) in the US.

The use of that logo comes along with be certified by an authorized agency. This is what is causing the confusion. The USDA doesn't directly certify. They offer standards for certification and then authorize 3rd party certifiers to carry out the verifications. If you are certified by one of those authorized 3rd parties you can then apply the USDA logo. And some of those 3rd parties have either created their own independent rules for honey certification, or they have certified simply under the rules for certifying livestock. It's a bit of a loophole for honey it seems.

Rader Sidetrack
12-04-2014, 09:51 AM
It's a bit of a loophole for honey it seems.

A loophole big enough to drive a semi-truck through. And it makes the the USDA a partner in perpetrating a fraud on US consumers, IMO.

bean tree homestead
12-04-2014, 10:20 AM
If a consumer is going to spend the money to buy organic then they need to know what organic honey means. You can’t be fraudulent on something that has no standard too pin an expectation too.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Thomas Tusser

Rader Sidetrack
12-04-2014, 10:40 AM
It pretty obvious that the packers who put the USDA Organic label on honey do so because they believe that doing so will help them sell that honey to unsuspecting consumers who don't know any better. Why should the USDA allow its label/logo to be misused in a manner that suggest that the honey meets USDA Organic standards, when that honey most certainly does NOT meet that standard. That the honey doesn't meet any USDA Organic honey standard should be obvious (to knowledgeable persons) because there IS NO SUCH STANDARD.

I have no problems with private groups (such as the True Source Certified logo also present on the label), but to have the US government imply that the honey meets USDA Organic honey standards when there is NO USDA standard for Organic honey is outrageous!

:ws:

mathesonequip
12-04-2014, 10:44 AM
So Don, are you saying that the words are actually "Certified Organic" and not just "Organic"? The words "Certified Organic" have to appear on a label together?

.

I think that the term "organic" on a label is the same as "certified organic" according to our friends in Washington. on imports Washington recognizes the exporting country's standards. so if the label "organic" is ok in brazil, then it is ok here but the country of origin must be listed always.... the one that I get a kick out of is anything "organic from china", like over 60% of the feed grains used by the "organic" us animal & livestock industry.

mathesonequip
12-04-2014, 10:45 AM
A loophole big enough to drive a semi-truck through. And it makes the the USDA a partner in perpetrating a fraud on US consumers, IMO.

exactly correct

Michael Bush
12-04-2014, 12:58 PM
>the one that I get a kick out of is anything "organic from china", like over 60% of the feed grains used by the "organic" us animal & livestock industry.

But what if the country of origin has no standards... like China...?

Organic gardening and farming used to be a philosophy. Now it's red tape and loopholes...

mathesonequip
12-04-2014, 01:48 PM
if china certifies it, it is good enough for usda. if you or i claim it is organic without following the rules and put that label on, it is a fine or jail... we are not allowed to make political comments on bee-source... I repeat post#29

jredburn
01-22-2015, 09:35 PM
Having tried to find a place in Florida to raise bees and produce honey that could be sold as "Organic" I have found out a few facts.
I There is no Federal Standard for honey. Plain or Organic.
2. The federal gov will fine up up to $10,000 if you put the word Organic on you bottle (or advertising) unless it is certified by one of private companies that are qualified to issue such certificates.
3. The qualified companies all have their own standards and their own pricing. Their standards are similar.

The required area around a bee yard is usually a 4 mile radius circle. The inner 2 mile radius cannot contain any agriculture crop land, no industry, no residential housing, no water treatment plants, no road way that might have been sprayed with weed killer and no area that might have been sprayed within the last 2 to 5 years. The outer 2 mile radius is a grey zone that can contain some of prescribed item but they must be monitored.

There are some areas in Florida that could be qualified but they belong to the State or the Feds and you can get arrested for walking through them. They do have some areas that are leased out to bee keepers but they are 10 year leases and the leases are renewable.

Costco does import organic honey from Brazil and has it bottled for their own use.

ChuckReburn
01-23-2015, 06:41 AM
"USDA Organic" is more or less a marketing logo that is licensed for a fee. Some consumers want to see it on a label.

Years ago at a farmers market, I saw a woman picking up oranges, stamping them with "SunKist" and putting them in a separate crate for sale, she explained, "it's what they want to see."

I've spent time in Brazil, I doubt it's much different.

WLeeH
01-26-2015, 03:03 PM
Nearly everything in the store that says "Organic" on it is usually a load of non-sense anyway. The only time I buy "Organic" milk is when it is cheaper than the other milk brands that particular day.

Michael Bush
01-27-2015, 06:40 AM
>...but without irrigation can they produce enough honey to survive, and a surplus as well.

Dee Lusby's bees are all out in the desert and do quite well and some years do awesomely well. I have trouble picturing it too... but I've seen them.

Riskybizz
01-29-2015, 10:09 AM
I'm 100% with Rader.

There have been numerous articles written about organic honey certification in Brazil and Mexico. The standards and certification process are quite stringent.

TylerStewart
01-29-2015, 10:17 AM
>...but without irrigation can they produce enough honey to survive, and a surplus as well.

Dee Lusby's bees are all out in the desert and do quite well and some years do awesomely well. I have trouble picturing it too... but I've seen them.

Granted, this is my first winter with bees, but mine have as much honey now as they did a month ago, and we are 10 miles outside Vegas in the Mojave desert.... There's maybe 15-20 houses within the 3-5 mile range from us. I'd imagine when the spring really hits, they'll be packing on honey in a major way (creosote and globe mallow are everywhere around us naturally, and we have a dozen mesquite trees ). They've never really stopped flying besides the occasional day or two that we got a cold snap. I have every intention/expectation to be taking surplus honey from them this summer.

JRG13
02-05-2015, 05:11 PM
It's the certification that's in question. I believe a lot of honey is truly 'organic' but it seems you cannot say it so unless it was inspected by a certifying body which is another grey area as the USDA does not directly certify any honey but in another thread someone linked one of the companies that does.

WBVC
02-05-2015, 05:39 PM
Apart from the organic thing ..how can something be 100% US Grade A and also be a product of Brazil?



I linked this photo in a different thread, but here it is again ...

http://costcocouple.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kirkland-Signature-Organic-Honey-Costco-3.jpg Photo Credit (http://costcocouple.com/kirkland-signature-organic-honey/)

Note the use of the "USDA Organic" logo even though the honey was not produced in the USA.

Steve in PA
02-05-2015, 05:56 PM
I'm far from an expert so do your own homework...

I have been looking at organic certification materials because I hope to have an organic farm/retail location if I can swing early retirement. In my searching it seems that if you are selling under $5000 worth of product you are exempt from the inspection process and expense of it. Sounds like a HUGE loophole but I'm far from being an expert/lawyer/retired.

Here's the language of the rule (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=7096b69f6edf46af9bd9a39be96fb173&node=pt7.3.205&rgn=div5#se7.3.205_1101)

clyderoad
02-05-2015, 06:10 PM
Apart from the organic thing ..how can something be 100% US Grade A and also be a product of Brazil?

It seems to be more common than one would think, or want.
This conversation on BeeSource may interest you as well:
https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?305187-McCormick-alias-Billy-Bee-introduces-its-new-Natural-Farms-honey-a-blend-of-Chinese&highlight=canadian+honey

http://s43.photobucket.com/user/buzz1356/media/McCormick%20%20honey/074.jpg.html

mathesonequip
02-06-2015, 11:13 AM
I'm far from an expert so do your own homework...

I have been looking at organic certification materials because I hope to have an organic farm/retail location if I can swing early retirement. In my searching it seems that if you are selling under $5000 worth of product you are exempt from the inspection process and expense of it. Sounds like a HUGE loophole but I'm far from being an expert/lawyer/retired.

Here's the language of the rule (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=7096b69f6edf46af9bd9a39be96fb173&node=pt7.3.205&rgn=div5#se7.3.205_1101)

that is not possible to comply with because you can not meet usda organic honey requirements, because there is no such thing. for us produced honey..

deknow
02-06-2015, 11:26 AM
You will note that Dees yards are all located near watering tanks for cattle. This isn't irrigated hiney crops, but the water being there for the bees is really important in that environment.


>...but without irrigation can they produce enough honey to survive, and a surplus as well.

Dee Lusby's bees are all out in the desert and do quite well and some years do awesomely well. I have trouble picturing it too... but I've seen them.

Barry
02-06-2015, 06:57 PM
This isn't irrigated hiney crops,

Not sure I'd want to eat whatever kinda crop that is!!