CHICAGO, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At an open meeting convened in Chicago February 16, 2011, the honey industry demonstrated its full support of True Source Certified™, a new voluntary program that independently certifies the traceability of honey from beekeeper to consumer. Numerous members of the honey industry have already signed on to complete the certification process in 2011 and several others indicated that they will follow their lead. Supporters include leading honey packers, producers (beekeepers), importers and associations.
"True Source Certified™ is a proactive approach to food safety and traceability, which I believe will become a model for many others in the food industry," stated Eric Wenger, Chairman of the True Source Certified™ Board of Directors. "We encourage companies to show their commitment and enroll in the program to help eliminate illegally sourced honey and maintain honey's natural reputation of quality and safety."
Launched in early January at the North American Beekeeping Conference, True Source Certified™ seeks to validate the origin of honey being sold in the United States, as well as improve food safety and product purity. The meeting in Chicago provided an opportunity for the honey industry participants to review the need for industry oversight and to share their thoughts about the rigor of the certification.
Mark Jensen, President of the American Honey Producers Association, stated, "The American Honey Producers Association fully supports the efforts of True Source Certified Honey and recommends that U.S. beekeepers support this program."
The certification process will be conducted by Intertek, an industry leader in testing, examining and certifying products, and it includes facility inspections, a critical review of trade and other legal documentation and a collection of samples to verify country of origin. The goal of the program is to help create transparency within the industry beyond current certification expectations and federal regulations, while adding an additional layer of traceability from the hive.
"Beekeepers are furious about the fraud surrounding honey transshipment, and fearful of irreparable harm done to the good name that honey has earned," stated George Hansen, Vice President of the American Beekeeping Federation. "Beekeepers can support True Source Certified as a positive, forward thinking program to give the honey industry a tool to differentiate between properly sourced honey and pretenders in the marketplace."
True Source Certified™ is open to any interested honey company (packers, producers, importers and exporters) that desires certification. It was developed by True Source Honey, LLC, a multi-disciplinary group of honey companies that seeks to maximize industry participation in solving the problem of illegally sourced honey.
The True Source Honey Initiative is an effort by a number of honey companies and importers to call attention to the problem of illegally sourced honey; to encourage action to protect consumers and customers from these practices; and to highlight and support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing. The initiative seeks to help maintain the reputation of honey as a high-quality, highly valued food and further sustain the U.S. honey sector. For more information, visit www.TrueSourceHoney.com and follow us on Twitter at and Facebook.
SOURCE True Source Honey Initiative