In the absence of any meaningful Federal or State guidelines for the classification of honey, the beekeepers of the NCSBA initiated the Certified Honey Producer Program (CHP) to complement the North Carolina Honey Standard, which the group adopted in 2010. The parameters of the CHP were thoughtfully set forth by Dr. Ambrose in 2012 and the program was underway.
The design and intention of the CHP is for NCSBA members to voluntarily participate in and agree to label and classify their honey in accordance to the North Carolina Honey Standard. An application is required for membership as well as a renewal every two years. Participants are then allowed to purchase the certified label from a designated printer and label their honey as certified by the NCSBA.
A consumer who purchases honey with the certified label is assured that the honey is being sold by a seller who appreciates and understands the goodness and value of our North Carolina honey. The seller has agreed to sell honey under the certified label that is a genuine product; from North Carolina, correctly classified as to floral source, and properly labeled to represent the true product.
Procedure for Becoming a Certified Honey Producer
- To participate a NCSBA member, in good standing, must apply to the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee.
- Criteria for participation:
- Agree to abide by provisions of the NC Honey Standard.
- Agree to process and bottle honey by sanitary and healthy procedures.
- Pay an initiation fee of $25 to the NCSBA which will provide certification for a period of two years, at which time certification may be renewed.
- Application may be made through a member of the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee, an officer, or regional rep of the NCSBA as an initial approving authority.
- The initial approving authority will determine if further investigation is necessary before his or her endorsement after which it will be forwarded to the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee.
- Upon final approval by the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee, the applicant will be notified and will give approval for his or her name to be listed on a “Certified Producer” registry to be included on the official NCSBA website, and
- Upon final approval by the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee, the applicant may purchase “Certified” labels from a vendor approved by NCSBA and the Certified Honey Producer Program Committee.
- The Certified Honey Producer Program Committee will contract with a vendor to provide “Certified” labels to approved applicants. The “Certified” labels will bear a Registered Trademark symbol owned by NCSBA which gives it the sole authority for determining criteria and circumstances under which this label may be used.
- As a condition for using the “Certified” labels, applicants agree to adhere to all provisions of the Honey Standard, at all times. A violation will result in termination of the privilege.
- The beekeeper shall designate the appropriate category for his/her honey.
Honey that is produced in North Carolina and is pure and natural. Honey that meets all of the requirements of the NC Honey Standard, except that it is not designated from a specific floral source. Terms such as “Fall” honey and “wildflower” honey are acceptable. Claims such as “raw” and “Organic” are not acceptable. Honey may be labeled as “USDA Grade A Honey”; however, it is the producer’s responsibility to meet those standards. Honey may be labeled as “fat free food” but not “fat free honey”, and as “cholesterol free food” but not “cholesterol free honey.”
Honey that meets requirements in Category 1, plus is certified as to specific floral source, such as “sourwood” in accordance with requirements of the NCSBA Honey Standard. Subject to testing by NCSBA.
Honey that is certified as Pure and Natural Honey, and is identified as to place or origin, if not North Carolina.
The chairperson of the CHP committee is Kim Underhill. For more information Kim may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org