Central Victorian honey producers have urged people to keep buying local honey during a crisis in the industry.
Media reports in the past month have stated a high proportion of honey imported to Australia contains sugar syrup. This week media reported that Australian brands may also be contaminated.
Some producers fear they may be tarred with the same brush as brands whose honey is adulterated with sugar syrup.
Owner of Pure Bendigo Gold Honey Martin Drake said he is starting to see the effects of the crisis on his monthly sales-cycle.
His company packs honey from about 25 local beekeepers, to sell on to supermarkets.
Mr Drake said media reports have led people to believe that all honey sold in supermarkets is contaminated.
“We feel like we’re being tarred with the same brush unfairly. All our product comes out of local beekeepers and it’s all 100 percent pure Australian honey,” Mr Drake said.
“We’re the local outlet for sales for local beekeepers.”
Mr Drake said the greatest challenge his business faces is competing with cheap imported honey, typically half the price of what his business pays their beekeepers.
Castlemaine honey producer Peter McDonald also fears media reports may scare people away from buying honey.
Mr McDonald is chairmen of the Australian Honeybee Industry Council.
Mr McDonald hit back at recent media reports which suggested honey produced in Victoria may also be contaminated by sugar syrup.
He urged Australians to keep buying reputable local honey while the industry traced back the supply chain to find out where any adulteration happened.
He said some Australian honeys were also very high in their sugar content, which could affect the reliability of testing.
“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Mr McDonald said.
“There’s been a relatively small study done, and a small amount of samples taken from Victoria.
"As a honeybee industry we just would actually like to find out details so we can actually trace back through and find out where the problem is.”
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