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Real Honey ????

A few years ago I was visiting a beekeeper in southern Portugal. As soon as I entered his office he said " i want to show you something", he reached down and pulled out a 260g jar of Aldi "Portuguese honey" ( Mel de Portugal), He then announced indignantly that this jar cost him 1 euro and 50 cents and his conclusion was "impossivel"! . 

We both knew the cost of honey production, and there is no way on gods green earth that anyone in Portugal can produce honey for that kind of cost. It had to have cost about a euro a kilo to make it to supermarket shelf at that price. Needless to say it is a blend of honeys, mostly from China, ( which is probably not really honey ) and a little bit of a local honey to lend a flavour profile and some local pollens. 

Cut to earlier this year, when I went into a sales meeting in a Cheltenham health food shop to be met by a hostile shop manager, who instantly declared we were way too expensive, couldn't be bothered to taste it and was quite frankly a prize idiot. What I did find on his shelves was a jar of "organic" Squeezy honey from a well known company, which was on sale for about £2. My reaction to that is the same as Pedro's. "Impossivel". I offered to test his honey for him, but he declined.

What is written about below is the following articles is honestly the tip of an iceberg of duplicitous and semi-legal practices rife in the honey industry, which is why I would welcome a testing regime. Bear in mind the Chinese will even provide you with honey samples to pass almost any test you like including one ready for NMR testing.

There are literally hundreds of tests for honey everything from pesticides, contaminants, heavy metals, antibiotics, sugar composition, markers of adulteration to glyphosate, hive residues etc etc. You have to be selective about testing, so you test for the things that you are likely to find. If its comes from a country with significant GMO usage like Argentina or Mexico, you would test from GMO's and Glyphosate. If its from India, you might test for antibiotics or heavy metals, If from China, the very least would be all the different adulteration tests possible etc. Conclusion is - you typically only find what you are looking for.

Honey supply chains can be so opaque that it can be impossible to know where honey has actually originated from and whether it has been altered, processed or adulterated in some way on its journey to your spoon.

Trust cannot be guaranteed by labels and standards and even testing regimes alone, real trust comes from honest people, fair and ethical practices, real provenance and transparency. We like to think that that is the way we operate.

So if you have stumbled upon this site, I would like to assure you that the honey we are selling you is at a fair and equitable price, which has come from a single independent source, which pays the beekeepers well and brings an honest and delicious product to your kitchen table.

A couple of links below just to show the nature of the honey business.



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