Meeting the Standards: Establishing Georgian Honey on the European Market

The Georgian National Food Agency (GNFA) has released a statement regarding activities carried out in 2015 for the development of beekeeping and exporting Georgian honey to the European market.

Legislative changes have been prepared according to EU requirements which implies drawing closer to European legislation. In particular, a monitoring plan for veterinary drugs, pollutants and waste substances has been approved. Additionally a honey technical regulation was prepared which entered into force in July, 2015.

The honey technical regulation sets out requirements for honey whereby a business operator shall produce honey and put it on the market according to the requirements of the regulation. Honey technical regulations will contribute to improvement of the local market, fraud protection and promotion of Georgian honey export.

The GNFA sent Georgian honey samples to the Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment Institute BIOR in Riga, Latvia, to promote the export of Georgian honey on the European market.

Study of whether the Georgian honey samples conform to European standards needs three years. So far various violations have been found in 20 of the 104 samples sent in 2015.

In 2013 the percentage of violations in examined honey samples was 37%, while in 2015 this figure was reduced to 19%.

The Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture was granted accreditation of ISO 17 025 standard, which means its research results are recognized internationally. The same laboratory also holds an ISO 9001: 2008 quality management certificate, which will enable local farmers to carry out on-site research on samples.

In order to develop beekeeping and increase export potential of the Georgian products on the European market, the GNFA, along with other agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture, has been meeting with beekeepers regularly in order to introduce them to the European market requirements and legislative changes.

Ana Akhalaia

25 January 2016 21:39