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Beware the trap of 'honey laundering' and support local beekeepers

23 June 2021 7:59 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Honeybees
honey
adulterated honey
Honeybee Heroes
Chris Oosthuizen
honey imports
beekeepers
South African honey
Adopt a Beehive

Bruce Whitfield talks to the founder of Honeybee Heroes, Chris Oosthuizen, about cheap imports versus quality, local honey.

Thanks to the work of the Zondo Commission, by now we should all be familiar with the concept of money laundering.

But honey laundering?

When you choose a honey brand in the shops, be aware that what's labelled as a natural product may in fact be diluted.

Cheap imports are putting pressure on local producers to also cut corners says Chris Oosthuizen, founder of Honeybee Heroes in the Western Cape's Overberg.

Image: Matthew Greger on Pixabay

Honey is the third most adulterated food in the world after milk and olive oil, Oosthuizen explains.

Honey laundering is basically bulk imported honey which is usually blended with fructose, and rice and corn syrups to lower the cost of production and inflate profits.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

The Chinese market produces about 60% of South African imports...

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

Our local beekeeping economy can only provide half of that supply and the imported products come in at about a quarter of the price that the local producers can put on the table... it does put significant pressure on the local market.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

Oosthuizen says there is very little protection in place for South Africa's beekeepers compared to a country like the US which has placed certain embargoes on the Chinese market.

A lot of it rests in the hands of the consumer, with the consumer taking responsibility and trying to protect the local industry.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

I think it always comes down to consumers making good choices and asking good questions.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

Oosthuizen urges consumers to check the labels on the products on offer and to be critical of pricing.

Quite often you're going to see local raw honey - the word raw is a good one to look out for.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

Go and find local producers... there are so many people producing good-quality raw honey honey on your doorstep.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

Oosthuizen says the prices we pay for local honey are low considering the amount of effort that goes into one teaspoon of honey, from the bees at the start right up to the end product.

The value is not R60 a bottle. It should be closer to R250 for the quality of good, local raw honey.

Chris Oosthuizen, Founder - Honeybee Heroes

You can find out more about Honeybee Heroes' efforts to help reverse the decline of the honeybee population and their 'Adopt a Beehive' initiative at honeybeeheroes.com.

Listen to the interview with Oosthuizen on The Money Show:




23 June 2021 7:59 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Honeybees
honey
adulterated honey
Honeybee Heroes
Chris Oosthuizen
honey imports
beekeepers
South African honey
Adopt a Beehive

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