According to a recent interview with Mr George Pittas, Chairman of the Greek Federation of Honey Packers, Distributors and Exporters, the superior quality of Greek honey can spearhead the efforts to put it at the top of the international marketplace.
“There is an excellent opportunity for Greek honey to excel, since Greece’s unique natural environment produces honey of top-tier quality,” stated Mr Pittas, while adding that “The country’s morphology is excellent, a combination of valleys, inland areas, mountains and islands. Another reason why Greek honey is considered second to none is that it comes from a variety of approximately 6,700 different types of flowers, 1,500 of which are found indigenous to Greece and Greece alone. As a result, Greek honey is rich in aromas and flavors and has a syrupy texture. Finally, in Greece, beekeeping is nomadic, which helps bees produce different varieties of aromatic honey.”
Furthermore, the European Commission has recently presented a report to the European Parliament and the European Council on the implementation of measures concerning the European apiculture sector, regarding the following:
- technical assistance: for example, training for beekeepers and groups of beekeepers on topics such as breeding or disease prevention, extraction, storage, packaging of honey etc;
- combating beehive invaders and diseases, which weaken bee immune systems and, when untreated, lead to the loss of bee colonies;
- rationalization of transhumance which is important for pollination but also for bee nutrition;
- analyses of apiculture products: honey, royal jelly, propolis, pollen and beeswax;
- restocking of hives;
- applied research;
- market monitoring;
- and enhancement of product quality with a view to exploiting the potential of apiculture products on the market.
With that in mind, Mr Pittas suggests that Greek honey can and should become a leader in the global market, provided its purity is protected and Greek beekeepers are supported. “We must focus on building a strong trade name/mark for Greek honey worldwide.”
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