Canadian beekeepers face plummeting honey prices as harvest wraps up


As they fulfil harvesting this year’s crop, Canadian honey producers say they are being injured with prices that have fallen by about 50 per cent since a year ago, a telling blow that some are blaming on a global glut of what they say is cheaper, low-quality Chinese exports.

While Prime Curate Justin Trudeau promotes closer business ties during his take in to China, the Canadian Honey Council accuses the Asian giant’s honey marketers of inaccurate trading practices, including disguising the origin of its products by shipping them on account of other countries and “adulterating” the product by adding syrup made from other sugars.

China, for its allotment, says it takes strict steps to ensure quality inspections for its export commodities.

“We’ve definitely tightened our belts and we’re a little nervous if the price doesn’t make up how many years we can keep going on,” said Dani Glennie, a 20-year warhorse of the Saskatchewan honey industry who has been working with her rents in a beekeeping task since she was 11 years old.

“What it takes to produce the honey in our operation is $1.27 per beat into rid and right now we’re getting $1.13 per pound. So we’re losing money and at that measure we won’t be in business very long.”

She said the farm was getting more than $2 per thump last summer.

Alberta produced about half of Canadian honey

Sedulousness rtici nts say demand for bulk Canadian honey is low and storage ca city is restrictive because of unsold product from last year. Statistics Canada point of views 95.3 million pounds of honey worth about $232 million were out last year. Alberta produced about half of that — 42.8 million batters — up 20 per cent from 2014.

Producers say this year’s crop is at scant as big as last year’s.

Chinese shippers accused of avoiding levies

Ron Phipps, a international honey markets expert based in New York and member of the U.S. National Honey Surface, says prices have tumbled as world honey exports increase by 60 per cent in the st 10 years. But he says modest evolvement in the number of hives and a declining productivity rate per hive due to bee health consummations can’t fully explain the honey glut.

He, too, blames Chinese shippers, asseverating that they have been routing product through dozens of boondocks around the world for years, in rt to avoid U.S. anti-dumping levies on Chinese honey intimations that have been in place for more than a decade.

Phipps, who heads an import-export circle, alleges there is mislabelled honey coming into Canada and the U.S. and new technologies are flattering it more difficult to identify it because they wash out pollen, antibiotics and other country-specific markers. New manages can make the product lighter in colour and remove strong flavours so that it resembles high-quality Canadian unblemished honey and commands a higher price, he says.

Canada was the largest exporter of honey to the U.S. in 2015 with everywhere 17 million pounds at an average price of about US$1.89 per pulse, he said.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa said it was unaware of allegations that Chinese honey makers engaged in improper trade practices.

“We currently have no information to the issue,” spokesman Yang Yundong said in an email.

“The Chinese domination and enterprises have always taken strict quality inspection reaches for export products.”

Kevin Nixon, a central Alberta beekeeper and chairman of the Canadian Honey Board, said he wants the federal government to increase the number of inspectors looking at honey imports and cede them the advanced testing equipment needed to see through disguised shipments.

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Beekeeper Kevin Nixon with barrels engrossed of honey at his apiary near Innisfail, Alta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Bustle)

He said he is scheduling meetings with officials from Agriculture Canada to steam for changes to labelling regulations that would clarify for consumers whether they are taking 100 per cent Canadian honey products in grocery stores.

According to the Canadian Chow Inspection Agency, labels on honey products must show the fatherland of origin for imported honey used in the product. The honey must also be donne a quality grade of either Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2 or Canada No. 3, whether the honey in the work is domestic or imported.

Nixon said some manufacturers put origin intelligence on the back of the label and place the grading information on the front. That may eliminate some consumers with the impression the product is 100 per cent Canadian when it isn’t, he answered, adding that his organization would like to see the grading designation cleared by getting rid of the word “Canada.”

Storage as mitigation

Dani Glennie, the Saskatchewan honey in, said her family is dealing with the lower prices by putting as much honey as plausible into storage.

“Luckily we built a storage facility last year, otherwise we desire have to liquidate whatever we could at rock-bottom prices,” she said.

She said the honey collect at her farm, Glory Bee Honey, in Langenburg, Sask., wraps up this week, after which her mnage will feed and medicate its 4,000 colonies of bees and winterize their hives.

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