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Georgian Honey Enters the World Stage

The 45th Apimondia Congress 2017, the most significant event in beekeeping worldwide, will take place from 29th of September to 4th of October, in Istanbul, Turkey. For the first time in Apimondia’s hundred years of history, Georgia will be at this world forum, represented by the Ajarian Beekeeping Business Association (ABBA), exhibiting the different types of honey of its members and promoting Georgian honey and beekeeping.

Apimondia  promotes scientific, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries and the cooperation of beekeepers' associations, scientific bodies and individuals involved in apiculture all over the world. This event is a unique opportunity for Georgia to promote itself as a honey producer and claim a place next to world leading honey producers. The recent placing of Georgia on the list of third countries for honey only further cements the credibility of Georgia as a viable producer country.

Georgia has been extensively promoted internationally as the birthplace of winemaking.  Apimondia provides the first opportunity to put energy into a new promotion; of Georgia as the homeland of the oldest honey ever discovered, preserver of ancient beekeeping traditions as shown in the recent Jara movie and producer of a wide variety of artisanal natural honey and bee products fueled by the un-paralleled flora of Georgia’s uniquely bio diverse and unspoiled landscape.

It is no coincidence that Ajara will be representing Georgian honey production. Recent years have seen increasing development of the honey sector in Ajara showcased in the annual Batumi Honey Festival held every year in August.

In addition to association members, the trade group will include, Ajarian honey producer Matchakhela Ltd, leading national honey producer and inputs supplier Futkara Group, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara Autonomous Republic and the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Their participation at the congress has been facilitated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) in cooperation with the Ajarian Beekeeping Business Association (ABBA) operating under the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

OTHER NEWS
21/02/2019
First Time: Packaged Jara Honey

Jara honey, collected from the local beekeepers in Ajara, has been officially branded and packaged for the first time. It is now ready to enter the international markets. 

9/02/2019
Breakthrough Legislation for Honey Sector

On 8th of November, 2018, the Government of Georgia adopted regulation #525, which forbids registration of the vet drugs containing prohibited antibiotics, like, chloramphenicol, metronidazole, dimetridazole, ronidazole, nitrofuran (including furazolidonewhich are widely used in beekeeping. The regulation entered into force on 1st of January, 2019 and was nationally covered by the media outlets. The regulation was proposed by the Veterinary Department of the NFA, after this constraint was raised at the first Honey Sector Advisory Committee on 22nd of June, 2018, which brought together honey stakeholders to discuss tackling the high levels of antibiotic residues in honey which are limiting the development of the honey sector. 

                                         

8/02/2019
Veterinary Surveillance Points in OIE publication

An article about Veterinary Surveillance Points (VSP) has been published in a quarterly bulletin of OIE – the World Organization for Animal Health. The article covers topics on the tradition of livestock seasonal movement in Georgia, the necessity of establishing VSPs and the importance of the points in animal health control throughout the country. The author of the publication is the Head of the Veterinary Department of the National Food Agency and the OIE Delegate of Georgia - Lasha Avaliani.

Please follow the link: Oiebulletin/veterinary-surveillance-points

06/02/2019
It’s official: the ‘Georgian Milk’ Mark Registered

The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark has been registered in the National Intellectual Property Centre of Georgia - Saqpatenti. The mark is now protected to avoid falsification and strengthen the ownership of Business Institute of Georgia, an independent body which will regularly audit dairies granted license to use the mark.

Eighteen dairy enterprises have already applied to use the mark.

The new ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will distinguish dairy products made from natural raw milk.

Information per enterprise will be published online on a www.georgianmilk.ge website which will come online at beginning of March. This will allow consumers to look up the products they are buying using a unique register number printed on the label.

A national promotion campaign conducted by GMA international marketing company to introduce the mark to the public and retailers will be rolled out from the end of next month.


23/01/2019
Watershed for Dairy Sector in Georgia

A presentation of a new ‘Georgian Milk’ mark was held on the 22nd of January at Hotels & Preference Hualing Tbilisi.

Up to 150 dairy enterprises and representatives of supermarkets, agri markets, sectoral associations and Government Agencies participated in the meeting.

The new ‘Georgian Milk’mark will distinguish dairy products made from natural raw milk. The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will be found only on dairy products produced from Georgian natural raw milk and which do not contain milk powder and/or any vegetable oils. The purpose of the mark is to promote products made from Georgian natural raw milk, which will help consumers make informed decisions while buying milk and other dairy products. A recent large national consumer survey by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre of urban consumers across Georgia showed that consumers want to be able to buy ‘ecologically clean’ dairy products, meaning clean milk that comes from healthy grass fed cattle and dairy products produced in clean regulated enterprises. The research found that the majority of consumers had difficulty in identifying or being able to buy such products as these products are currently undifferentiated in shops. The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will therefore solve this problem.

18/01/2019
Do’s and Don’ts Antibiotic Use Infographic

The ALCP facilitated the Georgian Beekeepers Union to develop infographic regards Do’s and Don’ts Antibiotic Use, providing guidelines for the beekeepers on proper usage of antibiotics and preventing honey and beeswax from contamination with the antibiotics. The full version of the infographic is available here.   

                         

LATEST NEWS
Georgian Honey in London
22/05/2019
Honey and bee products of four Georgian companies were exhibited at the event WORLD BEE DAY COMES TO LONDON on 21st of May, in the Conway Hall by the initiative of the Embassy of Slovenia to the UK. The Embassy of Georgia to the UK organized a stand for Georgian companies with the help of the Alliances Caucasus Programme, the Georgian Beekeepers Union, the Jara Beekeepers Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Georgian honey was well promoted by the Embassy. Twenty-seven countries exhibited their bee products. More than 500 guests tasted Georgian honey; Chestnut and Jara honey were one of the favorites. Photo source: The Embassy of Georgia to the UK
Spread of 'Georgian Milk Mark'
24/04/2019
Seven dairy enterprises are using the Georgian Milk Mark: Milkeni Ltd Rustavi, KK; Tsintskaro + Ltd Tetritskaro, KK; Khiza Ltd Akhaltsikhe, SJ; Badri Gogoladze I.E Bolnisi, KK; Gocha Gagashvili I.E Telavi, Kakheti; Tsolak Grigorian I.E Ninotsminda, SJ; Karen Simonian I.E Akhalkalaki, SJ.   Six dairy enterprises are being audited: Imeruli Ltd Marneuli, KK; Zekari Ltd Terjola, Imereti; Tsezari Ltd Khulo, AJ& Tsalka KK; JTA Ltd Tsalka, KK; Ramaz Nazrashvili I.E Gori, Shida Kartli; Tanadgoma Gardabani, KK. The products with the mark are available in Spar; Nikora; Zgapari; Fresco and Madagoni supermarkets’ chain. Eleven additional dairy enterprises have already applied to use the mark. Billboards of the mark are on Tsereteli Avenue, in Vake Tbilisi; Rustavi; Kutaisi and Akhaltsikhe. Information per enterprise is uploaded on a www.georgianmilk.ge. This allows consumers to look up the products they are buying using a unique register number printed on the label. GMA international marketing company has been conducting a national promotion campaign to introduce the mark to the public and retailers since the end of March. Facebook  of the mark is active with more than 3,000 subscribers/consumers.   The Georgian Milk Mark is officially registered and serves to distinguish dairy products made from natural milk. Follow the links on the Georgian Milk Mark: Ferma, Agrinews, Imedis Dila, Radio Marneuli, Marneuli TV, Georgiandairy.org, Agrokavkaz.ge, Interpressnews.ge, Ambebi.ge        
Masterclass for New Agri Journalism Students
02/04/2019
Up to thirty students of the agri journalism course at the journalism department attended a lecture given by the ALCP programme Team Leader Helen Bradbury in the state university. Agriculture and tourism; environmental protection, preservation and biodiversity; the honey, sheep and dairy sectors; Georgia’s rich cultural heritage and its main treasure - people/farmers with their strong traditions were the main themes of the lecture. All the students highlighted that the lecture was inspirational, they did not know many things, found different perspectives of agriculture and environment and they will report about the themes in the future. ‘Agriculture is about people and you should do your work with your heart if you want people to be opened to you. Try to understand the process and choose your own path. Be different and always find something new that no one else can see.’ - Helen Bradbury, Team Leader of the ALCP programme. Since spring fifty-three students have been learning agri journalism as a selective module for two hours/week, during the whole semester at the state university.  ‘We see more and more reports about agriculture but it is not enough. Reporting about rural life, people and agriculture is very important and it is our and your responsibility to think about it and be more enthusiastic as you are future journalists or media managers.’ - Natia Kuprashvili, Head of the Journalism Resource Center. Fourteen universities in Georgia, four in Armenia and one in Azerbaijan established or are establishing agri journalism module in their courses. 369 students have already studied the course.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Annual Report April 2018 to March 2019
DCED WEE Synthesis Note March 2019
Impact in the Livestock Sector in Khulo 2014-2019
The survey captures qualitative and systemic development generated by the programme in Khulo