Capilano's 'fake honey' scandal impacts local producers

ALL HONEY: Goldfields Honey's Vicki Lockwood said news of fake honey was not good for the industry's smaller producers. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 090418pbbee1
ALL HONEY: Goldfields Honey's Vicki Lockwood said news of fake honey was not good for the industry's smaller producers. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 090418pbbee1

CAPILANO Honey might be fiercely denying it used adulterated foreign honey in its products, but local honey producers say the negative publicity will still have a flow-on effect for the entire region.

Capilano, Coles, Woolworths, IGA and ALDI are alleged to have sold blended honeys that contain sugar, rice and beet syrups.

Testing was conducted by German company Quality Services International and results showed 12 out of 28 samples had been adulterated, but Capilano has called into question the accuracy of the tests.

The Orange region’s honey producers agree that while adulterated honey was not a health risk, it damaged consumers’ confidence and made it harder for smaller producers who were selling 100 per cent pure honey.

MAP: Where is Goldfields Honey located?

Goldfields Honey Australia, located at Beekeeper’s Inn on the Mitchell Highway between Bathurst and Orange, has been operating for the past 40 years and has 7000 hives.

Managing director Vicki Lockwood said the company prided itself on making 100 per cent pure Australian honey.

“I am very disappointed that the honey that is being imported is not tested that it is pure honey,” she said.

“Australia should have protocols in place to make sure it’s pure honey.”

I feel very sad and disappointed that we’re tainting the name of our beautiful honey with fake imported honey.

Goldfields Honey Australia managing director Vicki Lockwood

Ms Lockwood said for many consumers price was the major factor when buying groceries and cheap, imported honey, or those produced using additives, made it harder for those selling 100 per cent Australian honey.

“I feel very sad and disappointed that we’re tainting the name of our beautiful honey with fake imported honey,” she said.

Mudgee Honey Haven business manager Adriana Smith said while her products were 100 per cent honey, the public was often unaware that some companies put additives in their honey.

She said that cheaper honey often had syrups, water, colours and flavours added.

While these additions are not a health risk to the consuming public, she said it was “dishonesty” in marketing as the product was not 100 per cent natural.

“It effects us because they’re making honey that’s cheap on the shelves and they [customers] think they’re getting a natural product but they’re not,” she said.

Western Plains Apiarists’ Association president Bryn Jones said he feared it may deter customers from buying honey at all.

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