Grant Hicks and has his father has been selling honey for more than thirty years now. They operate a business that is multi-generational and has 11,000 hives oversees. On most days, his father guides him through the difficult situations and his brother stands alongside to offer any kind of help.
Despite operating such a huge business, Hick says that last year honey had not been favorable to them. According to a research done by Statistics Canada, last year the honey industry experienced a loss of $53 million due to the flow of watered-down and cheap products. This has put Hick’s family in a peril, as their main source of income is the honey.
Along with him, other beekeepers believe that some people are importing honey that is diluted with syrups and sweeteners, which is then purchased cheap and added in food products such as granola bars, cereals, etc. Hick says, “This gambit would save companies a whole of lot of dollars over time”.
In 2015, around 7.3 million kilograms of honey was exported, whereas last year, this fell to 6.6 million kilograms.
Canadian Honey Council’s chairman Kevin Nixon said that the ‘adulterated’ honey is causing a huge loss in our industry and is lowering the value of ‘made-in-Canada’ honey. According to International Honey Exporters Organization’s president Norberto Garcia, the quality of honey is affecting the international market too, as low quality honey is being bought in cheap prices.
The Canadian Honey Council is urging the government to step its efforts for inspecting the honey’s quality. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) has been using ‘isotope ration technique’, in order to check the honey’s quality. However, people have found out a way to cheat this test. This is why, Nixon says that the CIFA should use nuclear ‘magnetic resonance technique’ instead. In January, 266 samples were tested and 19 of them were made with syrups and added sugar. Though, the Canadian Honey Council is still pressing the federal government for the change in the testing equipment, Nixon is not pleased with the efforts made so far.