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British Beekeepers Association
12th June 2014

Amendment to the Honey Directive

Paul Riches of Defra (Food Composition and Standards) has provided an update on the Honey Directive.

Negotiations and discussions have been taking place over the last year to 18 months on an amendment to the Directive. The proposal put forward by the EU Commission aims to clarify the position regarding pollen and whether it should be considered as an ingredient in honey, following the European Court of Justice ruling in September 2011. The discussions have now concluded and an agreement was reached at the 1st reading in the EU Parliament. A revised honey Directive was published in the official journal of the European Union on 3 June. The updated Directive makes it clear that pollen isn’t an ingredient of honey.

The Directive will need to be transposed into UK law and Member States have a deadline for this of 24 June 2015. 

The main changes that this amendment covers are:

  • Clarifying that pollen is a natural constituent particular to honey and shall not be considered an ingredient
  • Updating the country of origin references replacing EC with EU as in — 'blend of EU honeys', — 'blend of non-EU honeys', — 'blend of EU and non-EU honeys'.

The full text of the revised Honey Directive can be found in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union  L 164 Volume 57 June 3, 2014.