Honey market eco-protectionism
Eco-protectionism is the concern that applying environmental tests to the origin of products will provide a new excuse for limiting the imports of products from poor countries. Is this happening in the case of honey imports to the European Union (EU)?
On 12 February 2001 the EU Commission agreed a new decision (2001l158/EC) listing countries authorised to import honey into the EU. These are the countries currently listed: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, India, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Uruguay, USA and Vietnam.
You will see no African nations are included on this list and from Asia, only China, India and Vietnam are eligible.
The purpose of the legislation is to prevent honey containing undesirable residues from being imported into Europe. To be listed countries must submit a plan, setting out guarantees regarding the monitoring of various residues including antibiotics, pyrethroids, organochlorines and heavy metals.
For your country to be permitted to export honey to the EU, it must first be added to the list of permitted countries. Ask your Ministry of Agriculture to contact the EU. The list given above is certainly not intended to be a closed list: already Zambian honey exporters have formed themselves into a group, and overseen by their Ministry of Agriculture, have successfully applied for Zambia to be added to the list. You can find details of the new decision (2001/158/EC) at http://www.forum.europa.eu.int/public/irc/sanco/vets/info/ You can obtain further details of Zambia\'s successful application by e-mailing Bees for Development.
Beekeepers working in remote areas of poor countries have good possibilities to produce top quality, non-contaminated honey and beeswax. We must ensure that they also have fair opportunity to obtain top prices for their premium products