It’s been a tough few months for our honey producers.
We’ve had the scandal of adulterated honey - it was revealed last week in the The Sydney Morning Herald that a study which tested five raw samples of honey and 95 local and global-branded honey and found found that 27 per cent were adulterated. Of 38 honey samples sourced from supermarkets and markets, 18 per cent, or almost one in five, detected adulteration. In total, 29 per cent of the seven samples sourced in Victoria were fake.
It put a serious dent in consumer confidence that the honey they were buying was local or Australian, or that it was pure honey at all.
Central Victorian apiarists have now revealed that they are battling a “honey drought”, with dry conditions leading to less plants flowering and as a result, far less honey. For this year to date little local honey has been produced and the forecast for the next six months isn’t much better.
“The major problem we’re fighting right now is just the lack of honey that’s being produced and the lack of income that comes on top of that,” Mr McDonald said.
So far a lot has been written about the Big Dry’s effects on dairy farmers and broadacre farming in New South Wales and Queensland, but the case of the vanishing honey is now bringing it very close to our homes.
Given the recent issues around purity, buying from a local source where you can question them about the provenance makes sense.
My family has been buying honey from a local Daylesford producer for generations.
It’s long been a delight to rock up to the road-side stall to see what they have. It could be anything from black and blue mallee to yellow box. You can take a stick and dip it in a pot to taste what you’re going to get. You can’t do that in most supermarkets.
Given the “honey drought”, buying local is going to be even more important.
We should be buying what local honey there is to make sure we have honey producers still around when the flowers bloom and the bees get back on track.
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