Tag-Archive for » Brazil «

Monday, March 16th, 2009 | Author:


21/01/2009 – 14:38
Shipments of the product totaled US$ 43.7 million last year. The United States were the main market and the state of São Paulo, the leading supplier.

Agência Sebrae*

Miamel Seeks Arab Buyer for Its Brazilian Honey

Brasília – Despite having been full of challenges for the Brazilian beekeeping industry, the year of 2008 ended with positive figures and record-high pricing. The industry doubled the value of its exports, totaling US$ 43.57 million, and the volume of foreign shipments grew 42% (18,270 tonnes) in comparison with 2007, when sales totalled 12.900 tonnes, with revenues of US$ 21.2 million.The higher increase in export values, when compared with volumes,

is due to the fact that the average price charged for Brazilian honey in 2008 (US$ 2.83 per kilogram) was the highest in the history of Brazilian exports. The figure surpassed the US$ 1.64 per kilogram paid for the product in 2007, and broke the record attained in 2003, which was US$ 2.36 per kilogram.The figures were taken from the survey consolidated by the analyst at the Sebrae Agribusiness

Unit and national coordinator at the Sustainable Integrated Beekeeping Network (Rede Apis), Reginaldo Resende. The reference is the Internet-Based Foreign Trade Information Analysis System (Alice-Web), of the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex), under the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

The challenges faced last year include the end of the European embargo on Brazilian honey, which took place in March. As a consequence, the industry, which is the 11th largest global honey producer and ninth largest exporter, had to implement Good Practices and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) at depots and honey stores, in addition to meeting the register requirements with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.


Brazilian honey packaged by US grocery store and labeled 'organic' in Nov 2008 - photo by pollinatethis.org

Despite the economic crisis, the United States was the main destination for Brazilian exports in 2008. The country answered to 73.1% of total sales, with revenues of US$ 31.84 million, considering a price of US$ 2.32 per kilogram of honey.

To Germany, Brazil sold US$ 7.188 million, i.e., 16.5% of exports, considering a price of US$ 2.66 per kilogram, way above the overall average. The third largest buyer market for Brazilian honey was Canada, which answered to 5.3% of sales (US$ 2.308 million), considering an average price of US$ 2.57 per kilogram of honey.

São Paulo was the state that exported the most, totalling US$ 13.3 million, answering alone to nearly one third (30.5%) of exports. Rio Grande do Sul ranked second (US$ 8.69 million), with approximately one fifth of the export value (19.9%). The ranking continues with Ceará in the third place (US$ 6.74 million), Piauí (US$ 4.41 million), Paraná (US$ 3.8 million), Santa Catarina (US$ 3.52 million) and Rio Grande do Norte (US$ 2.11 million).

Other states were Minas Gerais (US$ 667,130), Maranhão (US$ 187,970), Pernambuco (US$ 71,710) and Espírito Santo (US$ 181,00). The best price was the one charged by the state of Ceará: US$ 2.62 per kilogram.Biodinamic Institute certified organic honey from Brazil

Among the companies that exported to Europe, three are from Ceará, two from Santa Catarina, one from São Paulo and one from Paraná. However, only two companies from Santa Catarina answered to 71% of export value. “It is worth noting that exports to the European Union would increase, if only there were more depots accredited with the Ministry of Agriculture for exporting honey to Europe, as that market purchased good quantities and paid better prices,” says Reginaldo.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Photo by thebeekeeper [at] pollinatethis.org

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 | Author:

I’ve read in trade journals and forums about China dumping honey in the U.S., and it’s nice to see some investigative journalism on the subject! Curiously absent from the wonderfully long story is Brazil. (Has anyone else noticed Brazilian honey in U.S. stores?) Brazilian honey labeled organicBrazilian honey sits on the shelf at the Berkeley Bowl (like Whole Foods, but local) for $1.99 labeled “organic” from the USDA. It’s the cheapest honey in the store among many lovely, local honey jars, and supposedly the USDA was in Brazil following the bees to ensure they didn’t land on any sprayed flowers… yeah right. How does it happen that Brazilian honey makes it way into the U.S. more cheaply than local honey, and can even have a USDA organic stamp on it? Certification acceptance, secretly negotiated trade agreements, blah, blah. (Brazil doubled its honey exports in 2008!) When the state of California was planning to spray all of the San Francisco Bay Area with chemicals to prevent spread of the allegedly dangerous Light Brown Apple Moth, I was told at a public meeting that the USDA would have just given “waivers” to all of the organic farms sprayed with chemical agents, thus allowing them to continue selling their products as organic. Truth in labeling? The USDA Organic brand proves again to be adulterated and green washed. Shame on Berkeley Bowl for putting their own name on it, too.

I’ll take this opportunity to post my own photo survey of the honey market I did back in November ’08 at the Berkeley Bowl. You’ll see French and Indian honey labeled organic as well, with prices. Perhaps a followup on the “honey laundering” story will reveal something about Brazilian honey imports. -D

Oakland honey Huber Honey, Cobb, CA Manzanita Honey, CA Hawaian Macadamia Honey Napa Valley honey Meek’s honey Huber Honey, Cobb, CA French lavender honey “organic” Himalayan honey Napa Valley honey Snugglespoon honey California honey


Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Last updated 3:01 p.m. PT

Honey Laundering: A sticky trail of intrigue and crime

Country of origin no guarantee on cheap imports


SULTAN — Seven cars with darkened windows barreled east toward the Cascades, whizzing past this Snohomish County hamlet’s smattering of shops and eateries.

The sedans and sport utility vehicles stirred up dust as they rolled into the parking lot of Pure Foods Inc., a Washington honey producer.

Out popped a dozen people in dark windbreakers identifying them as feds — agents from Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some raced to the loading docks. Others hurried through the front door. All were armed.

The man who runs the business, Mike Ingalls, was stunned.

“I just sell honey — what the hell is this all about?” he remembered asking, as he was hustled into a tiny room with his office manager and truck driver.

Three days before the April 25 raid, customs had persuaded a federal judge in Seattle to issue the search warrant shoved in Ingalls’ hands. But it wasn’t until Ingalls read “Attachment D” that he understood why investigators were seizing his business records, passport, phone logs, photographs, Rolodexes, mail and computer files — almost anything that could be copied or hauled away.

  Mike Ingalls
  Mike Ingalls, owner of Pure Foods in Sultan, was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on April 25, but no charges have been filed against him.

He was suspected of trafficking in counterfeit merchandise — a honey smuggler.

A far cry from the innocent image of Winnie the Pooh with a paw stuck in the honey pot, the international honey trade has become increasingly rife with crime and intrigue.

In the U.S., where bee colonies are dying off and demand for imported honey is soaring, traders of the thick amber liquid are resorting to elaborate schemes to dodge tariffs and health safeguards in order to dump cheap honey on the market, a five-month Seattle P-I investigation has found.

The business is plagued by foreign hucksters and shady importers who rip off conscientious U.S. packers with honey diluted with sugar water or corn syrup — or worse, tainted with pesticides or antibiotics.

Among the P-I’s findings:

  • Big shipments of contaminated honey from China are frequently laundered in other countries — an illegal practice called “transshipping” — in order to avoid U.S.import fees, protective tariffs or taxes imposed on foreign products that intentionally undercut domestic prices.In a series of shipments in the past year, tons of honey produced in China passed through the ports of Tacoma and Long Beach, Calif., after being fraudulently marked as a tariff-free product of Russia.
  • Tens of thousands of pounds of honey entering the U.S. each year come from countries that raise few bees and have no record of producing honey for export.
  • The government promises intense scrutiny of honey crossing our borders but only a small fraction is inspected, and seizures and arrests remain rare.
  • The feds haven’t adopted a legal definition of honey, making it difficult for enforcement agents to keep bad honey off the shelves.

Read the rest of the story, see the maps…


Andrew Schneider’s Secret Ingredients blog