Honey Testing as a Constraint for the Georgian Honey Export
Honey testing requirements for export and laboratory testing capability and reality in Georgia were the main topics of the ALCP Second Honey Sector Advisory Committee meeting on 9th of October, 2019. The meeting gathered up to forty key stakeholders of the sector, including the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU), the Minister and Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Head of the National Food Agency, the Laboratory of Ministry of Agriculture (LMA), private laboratories, a honey exporter company Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking KTW.
A laboratory service subsidy scheme was presented at the meeting, that serves for supporting honey export development through creating accessible and affordable laboratory testing services for the Georgian beekeepers and honey exporters, which still remains as one of the key constrains for exporting Georgian honey abroad.
“For me, the honey sector is one of the most complex sectors in agriculture and I think the format of this meeting helps us with finding the best solutions to keep the sector going. I am pleased that today’s topic concerns honey laboratory testing, as we are determined to make honey as an export product. We have already made some important steps, like, participation in Apimondia 2019 and other important events for honey promotion. I think we can elaborate and agree on a future working model” – Levan Davitashvili, the Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“Access to affordable laboratory services will not only decrease prime cost of honey, but will ensure quality honey to be sold at local and international markets” – stated Mikheil Tetruashvili, the GBU board member.
The Minster of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia appointed a focal point in the Ministry to improve communication with beekeepers. The meeting participants agreed to continue work on the topic together with the MEPA and NFA.
The meeting was facilitated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented the Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP).
Photo Source: The Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia