Identity Theft: An Issue for Honey Producers

Press Release – Oritain Global Limited

A series of articles were published recently in an American newspaper exposing the extent of fraud and mislabelling of honey in the United States. Importantly, one article states that it isn’t possible to authenticate the origin of honey. Some …

Identity Theft: The Ongoing Issue for Honey Producers

31-August, 2009

A series of articles were published recently in an American newspaper exposing the extent of fraud and mislabelling of honey in the United States. Importantly, one article states that it isn’t possible to authenticate the origin of honey. Some correspondents are calling for the banning of all imported honey. The authors of that article are wrong.

New Zealand honey can be authenticated. Earlier this year, honey labelled as produced in New Zealand was purchased by Oritain Global from various stores in the US. Samples were carefully sent back to New Zealand and tested by an approved laboratory. The information contained in the honey itself proved that the honey met the specifications for New Zealand production. Those specifications (the natural properties of the honey derived from the land where the honey was harvested) cannot be tampered with.

Last week, a US court convicted a Chinese executive of conspiring to smuggle contaminated and mislabelled honey into the US. In this case, contaminated Chinese honey was being shipped to Thailand and the Philippines where it was to be relabelled as from those countries. Another story has also emerged, involving the same Chinese honey company – this time contaminated Chinese honey was being sold as from Russia, the Ukraine and possibly Poland.

“The authenticity of our honey is at stake. New Zealand honey is a premium product and both producers and consumers are tired of being ripped off. Many have lost faith in producer claims on labelling and are demanding independent assurances of origin.” said Colin Wood, owner and general manager of the Lindis Honey Company. “Lindis Honey has opted to have the origin of our product independently certified by Oritain who are working directly in the US and the EU.”

Linda Croudis, Sales Manager at Oritain Global, is well aware of the damage that can happen to country ‘brands’ when something is passed off as yours when it isn’t. “You only have to look at the damage to the Australian honey industry from the Chinese honey that was mislabelled and sold as Australian in the US. New Zealand honey producers are lucky that they have the opportunity and ability to protect themselves and their products – this is an obvious advantage”.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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