Georgian honey has a high chance of making an impression in Europe and becoming Georgia’s leading exported products alongside wine, hazelnuts and blueberry.
After today’s Government meeting Agriculture Minister Otar Danelia said from February 2016 Georgian honey will be exported to European countries. Georgian honey will have a special Georgian certificate that will be recognised internationally.
Danelia congratulated all beekeepers on this achievement and said the process of reviving the flailing art of Georgian beekeeping had started in the country.
The Minister also promised to support new beekeeping cooperatives “which had been abandoned for many years”.
The Government initiated a Beekeeping-Agricultural Cooperatives Support Program that stated 164 cooperatives would be encouraged around Georgia, 80 among them in mountainous regions, to bring beekeeping back to life.
To do this the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency will buy beehives and specialist technical equipment for interested cooperatives that meet certain criteria, to assist them in their beekeeping duties.
In addition, Danelia promised the Agriculture Ministry Laboratory will provide honey inspection services for free until December 31, and offer recommendations for beekeepers.
The Association Agreement (AA) and part of it Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) which Georgia signed with the European Union (EU) in June 2014 enabled the country to export 1,500 tons of honey to EU markets every year.
The demand for honey in the EU was growing by six percent every year. About 55 percent of the honey consumed in Europe, about 150,000 tonnes, was imported from other countries.
Georgia produced about 4,000 tons of honey this year while last year, Georgian beekeepers exported 5.4 tonnes, valued at $54,200 USD.
In the past few years, Georgian honey has been exported mainly to Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. Last year China and the Republic of Korea joined this list.
Local honey producing company Putkara LLC was the main exporter of honey.