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Citing the need to better explain its aims, as well as trademark purposes, the North American initiative formerly known as “Honest Honey” has now become “True Source Honey.”
Four North American honey marketing companies and importers — Golden Heritage Foods, LLC; Burleson’s, Inc.; Odem International; and Dutch Gold Honey — rolled out the initiative in May to help protect the quality and reputation of the U.S. honey supply, as well as the sustainability of American beekeepers and honey businesses. Their goal is to shed light on illegal sales of honey in defiance of U.S. trade laws, a practice that the initiative’s organizers estimate have cost the United States as much $200 million in uncollected duties in 2008 and 2009 combined. Millions more pounds of illegally imported honey are believed to be entering the U.S. market in 2010, they add.
“Initially we launched this initiative purely as an educational effort, but due to interest by the industry, we feel the need to develop a name that can be trademarked for broader use,” explained Jill Clark of Lancaster, Pa.-based Dutch Gold Honey. “Honest honey was not available for trademark use, so we’ve moved to True Source Honey, a name which works even better in calling attention to the need for true and legal sourcing of this valuable food.”
The newly renamed Web site, TrueSourceHoney.com is an educational resource providing information about where honey comes from and how consumers, honey companies, food manufacturers and retailers can help eliminate illegally imported honey.
“When honey is imported illegally, no one can be confident of its true source and quality,” noted Clark. “Some products are not 100 percent honey and have other quality issues. We’re asking people who buy and love honey to find out more about how the honey they enjoy is sourced. By raising awareness of unfair trade practices and taking the True Source Honey pledge, we hope to protect consumers and manufacturers who use honey, and to preserve the fair honey trade.”
According to Clark, millions of pounds of Chinese honey continue to enter the U.S. from nations without commercial honey businesses, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and Mongolia.
To complement the Web site, the initiative has also launched a Twitter feed and Facebook page to share and discuss important news.