After Spain, Hungary has also been affected in the European honey counterfeit case. Based on recent evidence found by the National Hungarian Beekeeping Association, cheap low-quality Chinese honey is offered on the market under an EU or sometimes Hungarian label.
The scandal originally broke out in Spain where several poor-quality Chinese imports are sold as EU and Romanian honey. Now, Hungary is also involved in the European honey counterfeit case.
Cheap, low-quality Chinese honey is also marketed in Hungary under an EU or sometimes Hungarian label.
According to the National Hungarian Beekeeping Association (OMME), the world’s cheapest lowest quality honey products always display a fake origin on their jar. In order to more appeal to commercial chains and consumers, the origin of the unsellable honey is removed and a more ‘sellable’ origin is indicated on the label. In the Hungarian counterfeit case, proof has been recently registered by OMME. They found 100% Chinese honey marketed in Hungary with a label that displayed a Hungarian flag and an “EU countries and non-EU countries” origin. The association has launched investigations into the matter.
As OMME reports, what is the most saddening is that neither advocacies nor the EU or national authorities have started to take actions against the increasingly popular counterfeit activity.
In addition to scamming consumers and market partners, this illegal market practice will destroy the future of EU beekeepers.
As the Hungarian news portal Haszon reports, the first suspicious cases were observed in Spain. Despite being the largest honey-producing country in the EU, Spain imports a significant amount of honey from Portugal (6,000 tonne/year) and China (18,000 tonne/year). However, since the beginning of this year, cheap low-quality honey from China practically disappeared from the shelves of Spanish stores and has been replaced by Romanian honey.
The price of Romanian honey on the Spanish market is EUR 1.62/kg while its Chinese counterpart, being the cheapest in the world, costs EUR 1.27/kg. For one tonne of honey, this EUR 350 price difference is rather significant. It is highly suspected that this honey may be of Chinese origin just it has been relabeled as Romanian. Another scenario can be that the Spanish honey is mixed with the cheaper and low-quality Chinese and Romanian honey and then offered as Spanish honey. Even though it scams consumers, this trick is not illegal. According to the rules currently in force, „if Romanian honey is mixed with 51% Chinese honey, the resulting product can still be called Romanian honey”.
However, by examining the pollen particles in honey, it is possible to determine the origin of the product. That is what the experts have been currently analysing.
Source: haszon.hu; omme.hu