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I keep on reading on how big of a threat transshipped Chinese honey is. They try every trick in the book and some of them are pretty obvious. Honey coming in from places that don't have the hives to produce the amount being shipped. Barrels labeled as syrup or something else. It just seems that every time someone blows the whistle it's not really taken seriously. Or that's the way it seems. The Chinese government isn't going to do a thing about it. It's not in their best interests to. Money coming in means money for the government. Our Government isn't going to do anything about it because cheap honey benefits the packers. It does so more ways than one. Cost of supply. They pay .75 cents a pound for the cheap stuff as opposed to the domestic stuff. Importing the honey serves to keep domestic prices down. I commend anyone who makes a decent living just selling honey to the packers. The big question is why isn't the Government really doing something about this? Why doesn't the AHB try to protect U.S. Beekeepers? It seems to me that they have lost their way. Why haven't U.S. Beekeepers banded together and screamed about their livelihood being whittled away bit by bit?
 

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"Why doesn't the AHB try to protect U.S. Beekeepers? It seems to me that they have lost their way...." because they are busy protecting the PACKERS. that is where their income and interest lie. IMO, beekeepers havent banded together because the same independent streak that steered them to beekeeping keeps them away.
 

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If you want to join the brawl, become a member of American Honey Producers Association. It takes a lot of money and time to do battle. AHPA is the ONLY organization representing beekeepers only. Make a difference and educate yourself even more. Lots of great people too.
 

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If you want to know why they do nothing and even are behind the importing of cheap honey just look at who is on the board of the National Honey Board. The current Chairperson, Buddy Ashurst, is also or was the Presiding Chair for the Honey Packers and Importers Board. Now really...do you think they have American Beekeeper Producers interest in mind??? As a matter of fact, if you go to the National Honey Boards site and look at the members http://www.honey.com/nhb/about/
its a who's who of the Honey Packers and Importers Board. Check out the top dogs in this meeting minutes from 2008. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...&gl=us&sig=AHIEtbS1Q2aAG8SjaqVHKcaH5NFZPt7YSA
No wonder we can't get decent prices for American Produced Honey. :doh:
 

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Following up...this article supports what I posted above.

"Some believe the new board, which has close ties to foreign honey suppliers, is in an ideal position to alert U.S. officials to incoming fraudulent or tainted shipments.

Not so, said Bob Coyle, a former honey importer from Bellevue who was named to the board in August.

"The board is there to market and promote honey. It's not a regulator, and it's not its job to address the adulteration," he said.

That outrages Adee.

"This board is now being run by the very people -- the importers and packers -- who profit from selling cut-rate foreign honey," he said."

Read entire article here: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/394199_honeybiz31.html
 

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BIG money! BIG money and greed money controls everything! Lets take any major food chain. When they bid, they want a 12 oz honey bear....who is the cheapest??? They could care less what it taste like! So Packer A<B<C are forced to compete with packer D who only looks at $$$. (I could report names here but due to liable I better not) Recently I was talking to a large packer who told me years ago McDonalds wanted US light amber in their portion pack, then it was any LA honey except china, then it was any LA honey. He told me last month that the last time they didnt care what was in the pack...as long as it was light amber and "said" honey. Bad part is a youngster eats it and hates honey...we loose more sales. Thats why I believe the drop in honey consumption in US last year dropped (according to reports). I think both national organizations APHA and ABF are opposed to cheap imports. I do want to make one correction...honey is not only coming in at .75 as stated above but the crap coming in from China has been as low as the upper 20 cent range labeled as 49% for bee feed to avoid tarifs!!! (Didnt know anyone purchased honey and fed it too their bees) NOW according to my sources one of the biggest packers who is beekeeper owned is buying this crap! What a sham! There are suppose to be some inestigations ongoing....but FDA is a poorly run outfit like most govt agencys.
 

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The real difficulty is the fact that tons of honey is an ingredient used by huge bakeries, food product companies, etc., and they probably could care less where the honey comes from, they are more concerned with price. We can have more initial success educating the john q. public's in our country who are regular users of honey, promoting the use of U.S. produced honey. I believe most American's prefer to buy food that is produced in this country if possible, especially with all the bad publicity in last couple years with tainted products from China. Education is the key, and all beekeepers need to do their part to preserve the quality of American made honey and let others know that paying more for it is worth it.
 

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I agree with all said, however, perhaps we need to look at this from above. Where ya'll talk doom and gloom I talk hope and opportunity. You can put all your money in the ABF or AHPA or your local state Beek Freak club. But it all comes down to the consumer. Joe Shmoe and Mrs. Shmoe.The Chinese are producing honey for around .40/lb by the time it gets here it sells for .70 -1.00. Is this honey as good as ours. Of course not. We need to educate the consumer. Pump them so full of domestic honey propaganda so that they think Chinese(and all foreign honey) is pure poison.
We start off by putting a little money into an investigation and have foreign honey tested for some chemical that is absolutly non-exsistant in the U.S. (this is key as we don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot) Then when we find it(and we will) we go straight to Fox news and cnn, followed by Oprah and finally the Today's show. We follow this up with one more round of honey bee colony collapse, last beekeeper, pollen-nation, fruitless summer, peril of the honey bee story, shortage and .......... the only real healthy honey is from your local bee keeper story, and Viola! Insta spike on the 'ol domestic honey sales projection chart!
We are at a cross-roads here people! We can keep paying to have a lobbist in D.C. convince congress to put a tariff on imported honey just to have those tricky Chinese find a way to sneak it in. With a population ratio of 5 to 1, it is 5 times more likely that they find a way to get around the law, than it is for us to stop them. But influencing the masses and cutting the demand off....who is better than that than us Americans? Change comes from with-in not with out.
 

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Simplyhoney has some good points. I would love to get the honey laundering newspaper articles and story on NIghtline, good morning america 60-60 or simular shows. (google seattle times honey laundering). The biggest disappointment in all this is that Sue Bee imports honey from china...and their a growers coop supposedly....Their beekeeper members have their head in the sand to let this happen in my opinion. But then I think alot of their members never look at what they are really recieving for their honey. If you join SUE they retain 10% of your crop for the first 8 or 10 years plus you get paid at certain times throughout the year. So how much do you get for your honey in net dollars considering you dont get all your money for many months and you bascially end up with a years crop being retained by the coop. A beekeeprs coop SHOULD BE PROMOTING US GROWN HONEY and not being like a big packer. Most sonsumers have no idea what Sue does. nor do alot of their members....they just let the directors do whatever and believe everything they are told. A good growers coop could help educate the consumer. While the NHB started out a good thing I believe they are now hurting consumption by the actions they are taking due to some of their board members. I was at the first NHB meeting when we started it in Denver in 1986. We were forced by the USDA to NOT promote US honey as imports were also paying the penny a pound. We were furious but our government forced us to not promote us honey and still does.(alot of people dont know this). Hopefully we will get a US board to promote US honey. My gripe with the board now is they should have forced BOB COYLE off the board immediately! They also should be concerned about the quality of honey as quality affects demand....but our great govt might be preventing this (chinese problem)or it could be the board members..guess I need to find out. I'll make some calls today to some people in the know.
 

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No, it's called fraud.
In a free market, the consumer is responsible for their purchases. Caveat Emptor.

If people want to buy cheap/fake honey, let them. Consumers are generally happy to sacrifice quality if it will save cost. They will always get what they pay for, however. Despite this, there will always be room for "boutique".

As for the honey bee association... Why should they be expected to step in, when it's outside of their regulatory scope, and contrary to their financial interests?

It is unfortunate that this is adversely impacting American honey producers, but it seems to me that this is just collateral damage.
 

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In a free market, the consumer is responsible for their purchases. Caveat Emptor.

If people want to buy cheap/fake honey, let them. Consumers are generally happy to sacrifice quality if it will save cost.

As for the honey bee association... Why should they be expected to step in, when it's outside of their regulatory scope, and contrary to their financial interests?

It is unfortunate that this is adversely impacting American honey producers, but it seems to me that this is just collateral damage.
I agree. We as beekeepers overestimate the importance of honey IMO.

The large retailers (ie. WalMart) that are supposedly selling large volumes of inferior honey clearly realize that price and convenience is what drives their sales. The 5% of consumers that care about quality, locally produced honey, are the ones that wind up at the beekeepers farm gate.

The consumer needs to be lured to purchase locally produced honey by catering to what they have clearly indicated they want.

Price and convenience ( in and out in 2 mins. without being subjected to a speech on the plight of the honey bee) will introduce the public to the added benefit of actually getting delicious honey.

This will lead to increased demand for local honey and the price will rise accordingly. Starting at the beginning is never fun, but I don't know of any other place to start.
 

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I take issue with the above two post because MOST CONSUMERS WHO PURCHASE THE CRAPPY HONEY DONT KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERANCE!!! THEY NEVER BUY AGAIN....AND WE ALL LOOSE! packers, beekeepers, stores, all of us! Yes it our job to educate and I try...but I (we) cant talk to every consumer!!! And IT IS IMPORTANT TO beeekeeper organizations...if beekeepers dont make a profit then those orgaanizations dont get dues/dollars to operate. Imports, nafta gatt ect have killed out econony....I again I disagree with the above two post 110 percent!! most consumers who purchase that honey do not know there is any differance in honey!
 

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I take issue with the above two post because MOST CONSUMERS WHO PURCHASE THE CRAPPY HONEY DONT KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERANCE!!! THEY NEVER BUY AGAIN....AND WE ALL LOOSE! !
But we don't all lose - This is a boon to the chinese economy, to chinese agriculture, and to chinese beekeepers.

I think there is a bit of fairweather capitalism going on here: Capitalism seems great, as long as it allows your team to dominate - But not so much fun when the other guy beats you out.

Consumer education seems like a reasonable response, but is it really possible to educate consumers to appreciate quality honey when they've been so methodically conditioned to embrace "value" over all other considerations?

Look at our food suppy - It too has become crap... and most people haven't noticed, or don't care.
 

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What threat? Its called an opportunity man!

Wake up! The longer that crap is sold under an American label and packed in USA, the easier it is for us medium sized and smaller beeks to charge a decent price for the real McCoy.

Actually I am going to reveal for maybe the first time on the internet that there is a secret underground society of beekeepers that actually lobby to ensure that Chinese honey is being let into the country. Our goal is to see the absolute worst of this stuff gets into the country and sold to packers.

We also have a "CCD is everywhere" campaign to keep that myth alive and we feel this has fueled some very good sales for this secret society of beekeepers.

We plant trolls everywhere on the net to make sure the stories continue about the bees are dying and nobody knows what to do blah blah blah. Meanwhile our bees look better then in decades and we're getting $4 a pound wholesale! and double that retail. Let the good times roll!

Industrial Honey is a dead end and is rigged by the packers who make sure enough crap gets in that there is never a shortage of honey and even after the worst year ever in the USA (2009) for honey production the drum price has barely moved.
 

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Suttonbeeman;

I'm not sure we disagree as much as you think. The question is, why don't they know the difference? If consumers buy the inferior honey once and never again, that is not being reflected in the chinese honey imports.

Farmgate sales are booming. I could have sold a semi-load of honey on top of what I produced. I had several offers from beeks to sell me all I want, at $2 a pound, add shipping and processing to that and it's not worth my time to sell it at $2.75.

If I raise my prices to $4, my customers buy their honey at the grocery store. At which point, I don't need a semi of honey.

I'm a lot closer to the end than I am to the beginning, but if I were early in my business life you can be sure I'd be looking into .75 Chinese honey.

I'm not sure if you are a buyer of honey or not, but buying honey, making a reasonable mark up and developing a domestic market generally gets derailed by those who try to squeeze more value out of their product than practically exists.

Greed is not the sole domain of the packer.
 
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