The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in England is seeking comments on draft regulations that include requirements for honey to be labelled with country of origin. The regulations set out compositional standards that a product must comply with to be described as 'honey' and provide additional labelling requirements for these products.
The regulations will require that where blends of honey are used, they must be labelled either 'blend of EC honeys', 'blend of non-EC honeys' or 'blend of EC and non-EC honeys'.
According to the FSA, the Honey (England) Regulations 2003 will implement European Council Directive 2001/110/EC in England, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be making their own separate, but similar, legislation.
The FSA says the draft regulations provide for the enforcement of the Directive, creating offences and providing penalties for non-compliance with the new requirements.
The provisions of the regulations are cited by the FSA as being broadly in line with those of the 1976 Honey Regulations, which they replace, but it adds that there are some new requirements. These include new labelling requirements for filtered and 'bakers' honeys, new requirements for electrical conductivity and the removal of the UK's current derogation for a higher HMF limit of 80mg/kg.
Responses are requested by 18 July at the latest. Industry members are advised to see the consultation letter and guidance notes for more information on the regulations and on sending a response.