Canadian honey farmers say cheap, diluted honey from oversees is flooding the market. According to Statistics Canada, the value of Canadian honey dropped nearly $53 million last year.
One local bee-keeper says cheaper imports and unclear labels are having a tremendous impact on the industry.
Charlie Bee Honey bee keeper, Jacob Parker says the plummeting value of Canadian honey is mostly affecting large scale honey producers. Parker says big companies looking to sweeten their products with honey are choosing off shore honey because its cheaper. But its only a matter of time before smaller businesses start to feel the sting.
“In the future its going to trickle down to some of the smaller guys that sell by the pail or by the jar. It will come around”
According to Statistics Canada, honey imports have risen steadily year after year from about 2.8 million kilograms in 2011 to 6.6 million last year. But Parker says honey that comes from China, Argentina, and other countries doesn’t compare to Canadian honey.
“Sometimes you find that store bought honey tastes like corn syrup, and that’s because its not pure”
Parker says just because your honey says Canada 1 or 2 on it doesn’t mean it’s 100% percent Canadian honey. That is simply the grading system.
He says many mistake this grading system as an indicator of where the honey comes from, when in fact honey that is pure Chinese will also have a Canada 1 or 2 grade on the front.
“You gotta really look at the fine print usually on the back of the label. Because thats where it’s gonna say product of Canada.”
When it comes down to it Parker says the future of the Canadian honey industry is in the consumers hands.