True Source Honey launches a certified honey traceability program open to all interested honey companies to protect honey consumers and customers.

The True Source Honey Initiative announces the launch of a certified honey traceability program beginning in this month. Officially known as True Source Certified, the program was unveiled at the 2011 North American Beekeeping Conference in Galveston, Texas. The program is designed to certify the origin of honey being distributed and consumed within North America, resulting in better food safety and product purity assurances for quality-minded customers and consumers.

The new voluntary program is open to all interested honey companies (packers, beekeepers, importers and exporters) that desire True Source Certification. It was developed by a multi-disciplined group of industry participants who want to maximize industry participation in solving the problem of illegally sourced honey.

Intertek, an internationally recognized third-party audit firm, will begin conducting audits for any interested candidates starting this month. The program will help create transparency within the industry, going beyond current certification expectations and federal regulations while adding an additional layer of traceability beginning at the hive. For those applying for certification, Intertek will conduct unannounced inspections, review documents and collect samples for country-of-origin verification.

A number of honey companies in North America have resolved to purchase only legal, properly sourced honey from legitimate sources. These companies now have an opportunity to certify their purchasing practices through an independent third-party auditor, enhancing customer and consumer confidence while clearly demonstrating the value which they have been providing.

Some honey has been illegally imported by companies misrepresenting the true country-of-origin, in order to circumvent dumping duties of $1.20 per pound that have been assessed against certain countries. This results in honey being sold to companies and consumers that is of questionable origin. Along with creating food safety issues for consumers, this practice threatens the honey industry by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey’s reputation for quality and safety.  

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