Call For Fair Setting As Austrian Apiarists ‘Cannot Match Low Prices Of Imports’

An Austrian beekeeping association has urged European leaders to ensure equal business circumstances as domestic honey producers could not compete with low-cost apiaries in non-EU countries.

Christian Boigenzahn from Biene Österreich, an organisation which represents Austrian beekeepers, said: “Fairer competition on the honey market has to be ensured as apiarists from Austria cannot match the low prices on imported products.”

European Union (EU) decision-makers are currently negotiating the details of a recently presented bylaw which aims to tighten the labelling of honey imports.

Illustrative image shows honey in jar, undated. (NewsX/Bee)

The Biene Österreich head said EU negotiators must ban any honey which underwent vacuum evaporation, a method allegedly applied by producers in some non-EU countries. The procedure is meant to quicken the preparation of crude honey.

Christian identified the precise indication of the origin of honey on its jars as another crucial element for more rigorous honey import criteria.

He argued: “Customers appreciate the sweet gold of the bees. They consider it a delicious spread on bread and a precious cooking and baking ingredient. Furthermore, honey is regarded as a healthy alternative to sugar. It’s commonly used to fight colds too.”

There were more than 33,300 beekeepers in Austria in 2021. Most of them engage in apiculture as a hobby or to make some extra money.

Austria took 13th place in the European Commission’s 2021 honeybee hive statistics. The survey showed that there were 456,000 honeybee hives in the Central European country that year, up by seven per cent compared to 2020.


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