Weekly Product Updates

W15 Honey Update: EU Implements Stringent Food Labeling Standards, Ukraine Enhances Bee Disease Monitoring Programs

Honey
Netherlands
Sustainability & Environmental Impact
Greece
Published Apr 17, 2024
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In W15 in the honey landscape, the EU has reinforced its food labeling standards, mainly focusing on honey, juices, and jams, aiming to bolster consumer transparency and combat fraud in the food industry. The new regulations mandate clear country-of-origin labeling for honey to tackle adulteration issues and introduce a traceability system. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, newly approved programs, backed by the EU4 Safer Food European project, aim to monitor major bee diseases, aligning with international standards and fostering a unified approach to bee health management. These initiatives seek to promote a healthier bee population and a sustainable beekeeping industry by ensuring early detection and effective management of bee diseases.

EU Strengthens Food Labeling Standards for Honey, Juices, and Jams

On April 10, 2024, the European Parliament approved revisions to existing regulations governing the composition, labeling, and presentation of specific breakfast products within the European Union (EU). These revisions aim to enhance consumer transparency and combat fraud within the food industry.

The new regulations mandate clear and visible labeling of the country of origin for honey products. This initiative seeks to combat the issue of adulterated honey entering the EU market. Additionally, the legislation lays the groundwork developing a honey traceability system, further strengthening consumer confidence.

The sugar content of fruit juices must be prominently displayed on product labels. This measure aims to increase consumer awareness of sugar content within these beverages. Minimum fruit content requirements will be established for jams and marmalades sold within the EU. This will ensure a consistent product quality standard and potentially address concerns about dilution or filler ingredients.

A rapporteur emphasized the importance of these revisions in promoting informed consumer choices, protecting beekeepers from unfair competition, and safeguarding consumers from adulterated honey. The proposed legislation requires further approval by the EU Council before its official publication in the EU Official Journal. Following publication, a grace period of twenty days will be granted before the regulations come into effect. EU member states will then have two years to implement the revised labeling and quality standards for honey, juices, and jams.

New Programs Enhance Bee Disease Monitoring in Ukraine

The State Production and Consumer Service of Ukraine has approved new programs for determining the veterinary and sanitary status of the country regarding three major bee diseases: American foulbrood, European foulbrood, and varroasis.

The State Production and Consumer Service developed these programs with the backing of the EU4 Safer Food European project. The programs adhere to Ukrainian veterinary medicine legislation, World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, and European animal health and welfare regulations. The programs are designed for a five-year implementation period. The programs emphasize a unified veterinary and sanitary approach within apiaries. This aims to establish a system for early detection of bee diseases, enhancing preventative measures and overall bee health.

The implementation of these new programs represents a positive step for Ukrainian beekeeping. By prioritizing early detection of bee diseases, these programs can contribute to a healthier bee population and a more sustainable beekeeping industry within the country.

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