300,000 tons of honey will be lost in 30 years

27 September 2021

Up to 10,000 tonnes of honey a year will be lost to Greek production over the next 30 years due to large fires in Evia, while things for the beekeeping industry will worsen further due to the effects of climate change, according to Federico Facchin, policy and COPA-COGECA honey specialist.

According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in 2019 honey production in Greece amounted to 22,000 tons, 70% of which concerned pine honey. Given the great ecological disaster in the region of Evia, and based on the evidence of regeneration of a pine forest (about 30 years) the loss of production in the coming years is considered a given.
In fact, Facchin warns that such a loss could lead to increased honey adulteration with quantities coming from outside the European Union. “If we lose such a quantity of honey, but consumers continue to demand and search for honey on the shelves, then the inevitable consequence of this will be an increase in honey imports into the EU,” he explained, adding that the cost of honey production within the EU ranges between 3.8 and 4 euros per kilo, while imported honey can cost up to 1.45 euros per kilo, due to adulteration with cheap sugar syrup, a price that European beekeepers can not compete.

In addition, Mr Facchin is in favor of reviewing the label on the origin of honey in the European Union, as the current Community directive merely stipulates that honey must have an “EU”, “Non-EU” origin label or a mixture of the two.
As he comments, “I can put 1% honey from an EU country and mix it with 99% from a third country, but on the label you will only see” EU and non-EU “origin”. He also suggested that the country of origin of honey be clearly marked in order to support producers. “A clear, simple and efficient label of origin will help the EU internal market and honey production, while giving consumers the information they need,” he said.