New Honey Standards Law Buzz Awaited by Wisconsin Beekeepers

New Honey Standards Law Buzz Awaited by Wisconsin Beekeepers

7/25/011

 

Members of the very sweet industry in the state of Wisconsin are increasingly getting frustrated. A measure that was passed last year to help honey makers in Wisconsin has not been implemented yet.

Of the 900 producers of honey in Wisconsin, Natalie Abbott is one of the youngest.

Natalie of West Hill Honey Company Chippewa Falls, said, “We put it in big jugs and we fill them into bottles.”

Like most beekeepers across Wisconsin who sell honey, 12 year old Natalie and her family supported the legislative measure to set standards on what variety could have the label “honey” and what could not.

Natalie’s father, John Abbot, said, “It’s really interesting how crafty the companies are with their labeling. You’ll see bottles that are labeled ‘a honey product.’ Well, what is that? We don’t really know. Is it honey? Is it really honey?”

However, sixteen months after the measure was passed, the standards are not in place yet. State officials say that they are still working on the rules.

Donna Gilson of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Wisconsin, the agency charged with implementing the law, said, “This happens often–that the legislature passes a law but it doesn’t have quite all the details and the nuts and bolts of how it’s going to work, day to day.”

She also added, “That’s what we had to put together. That generally takes a year and a half just because there’s a lot of legal hurdles.”

Because the law is not finalized yet, Natalie, along with other makers of this sweet and gold-colored liquid, will have to wait.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com