Georgian Honey Exports to EU to Begin in 2016

TBILISI – The Directorate-General for Health and Consumers Affairs of the European Commission has ruled that Georgian honey has met the EU’s quality control standards and can now be exported to Europe.

Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture issued a statement Tuesday saying regular shipments of Georgian honey-based products to the 28-member bloc will likely begin in the near term.

“We just need to deal with standard procedures and, hopefully, soon we will able to meet Europe’s high demand for honey,” Georgian Agricultural Minister, Otar Danelia, said.

Over the past two years, the agricultural ministry has carried out a series of procedures aimed at improving the quality of local honey through the purchase of new infrastructure and laboratory instruments, conducted high standard research and a major overhaul of the bodies responsible for sanitary oversight.

EU Ambassador to Georgia, Janos Herman, said he has repeatedly discussed honey exports to the EU market with Georgian officials.

“The European Union Free Trade Agreement gives Georgia the opportunity to export its honey to the EU market without any additional fees. This is the result of close cooperation between the Europe and Georgia,” said Herman.

Georgia produced about 4,000 tonnes of honey last year. In 2014, Georgian beekeepers exported 5.4 tonnes - valued at 54,200 USD - mainly to Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon.

By Eka Karsaulidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

18 May 2016 14:09