China Worries About Importing Funny Honey. Really. Anybody else see the irony?
By Alan Harman
China is requiring strict biosecurity rules on its imports of Australian honey.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports food safety scares within China have led to tough export conditions being imposed on Tasmania's honey producers who ship several hundred tonnes a year of their unique leatherwood honey to China.
Honey producer Julian Wolfhagen tells the ABC China is the only country to impose a strict limit on microscopic yeast and bacteria levels.
“In our perspective with honey, it's probably unrealistic really,” he says.
But Chinese honey distributor Chin Hon Toh says the market is sensitive.
“There are a lot of food safety issues in China,” he says.
For those who negotiate the red tape the Chinese market is booming.
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association president Lindsay Bourke says the market is demanding twice as much each year.
“We have people coming to our premises every week, delegations from China,” he says.
Producers are investing in new equipment to keep up.
About two-thirds of Tasmania's honey production is from leatherwood blossom. Flowering from January until April, the leatherwood tree (Eucryphia lucida) is unique to the island state and grows in rainforests in the southern and western areas.
Leatherwood honey has a strong flavor and particularly distinctive aroma and has established a worldwide reputation as a distinct honey type.