June 13, 2021

“The labeling of honey jars is stuck”

Raw materials. The beekeepers are stung. And their anger roars like a swarm of bees in flight. The object of their wrath: the government’s apparent lack of will to enforce the law. Officially, from 1is January 2021, the labeling of the jars of honey should finally indicate the countries of origin of the nectar, ranked in order of importance. However, at the beginning of June, it is not. Today, only the very elliptical mention “EU” or “non-EU” is in force.

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However, the obligation to be more explicit was voted in the framework of the EGalim law. (from the States General on Food) adopted in 2018. Since then, even if the National Union of French beekeeping (UNAF), which brings together 20,000 professional beekeepers, has continued to spur the government on, the measure has remained dead letter. Rejected for the first time for a technical defect, it reappeared within the framework of the law relating to the transparency of information on agricultural and food products, promulgated in June 2020. However, the decree has still not been published.

No visibility on the pollinator protection plan

The subject is far from trivial. Indeed, to satisfy the greed of the French, the volumes of imported honey are growing continuously. According to the UNAF, they would have reached 35,000 tonnes in 2020, for a total consumption of 40,000 tonnes. It is true that the booty of the tricolor foragers had been reduced to the minimum portion in 2019, to nearly 9,000 tons. Fortunately, the meteorological series went better in 2020, and production has recovered, with an estimate of between 18,000 and 20,000 tonnes.

In early 2021, beekeepers had the bumblebee. Frost, rain and wind disrupted the work of the bees. They had less rapeseed or acacia nectar to get under their proboscis. Not sure, under these conditions, that the honey harvest will be bountiful this year. Another cause for concern: they claim to have no visibility on the pollinator protection plan promised by the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, in August 2020.

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This plan was announced at the same time when the government gave the green light to the reauthorization, until 2023, of the use of neonicotinoids for the cultivation of beets affected by jaundice. The ban on these insecticides endangering pollinators has also been confirmed in Brussels. The Court of Justice of the European Union rejected, at the beginning of May, the appeal of the Bayer company. What to give wings to the bees …