Petition for the Restriction of Honey Imports into Australia
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The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia calls for a ban on all large scale imports of food industry and table honey into Australia for the following reasons.
1. High quality pure honey is produced inside Australia every year and the increasing size of commercial imports has started to affect our reputation as an international producer of quality honey, partly due to widespread unverified rumour. By removing the ability of companies to import large quantities of these types of honey, the rumours will no longer be able to hold any sway over consumers in the international markets.
2. These rumours are also rife within the internal honey markets and also causing consumers to start to question the high quality product being sold within Australia by well known companies.
3. Australia is one of the few places in the world currently free of Varroa Destructor, and as such our honey is free of the treatments used to treat these. We have the opportunity to promote our honey to the world as being free of these chemicals, however it will continue to be met with scepticism while the imported honey debate rages on within our country.
4. To limit the spread of diseases of Apis mellifera not yet found within Australia such as invertebrate iridescent virus type 6 (IIV-6).
5. Only a small amount of honey entering the country is tested for purity each year, and as such there is a high chance of impure honey - which has either been produced by supplemental feeding of bee colonies or adulterated with other sweeteners entering the country undetected.
6. It is vital for the Australian food and pollination industries that beekeeping remains a strong industry within Australia. By limiting the importation of honey into Australia, we believe we will be assured of a strong and continuing industry. This is increasingly important in an industry where the number of professionals has decreased by 30% over the last 10 years.
7. The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia fully supports the development of an Australian NMR testing facility and the development of and Australian specific NMR database. This is an important move within the industry with very few Australian honey samples cataloged in the existing private international databases. This has lead previously to Australian honeys failing authentication tests in existing international laboratories.
The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia is not calling on a Ban on medical grade Manuka into Australia. This honey is a valuable medical resource and as such we do not believe this honey should fall into the same category as food industry and table honey. While Australia does also produce high quality medical grade honey, many of these varieties are still undergoing testing and product development.
The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia is also not calling for a ban on individual consumers importing their own honey for personal consumption. Internationally there is a wonderful variety of unique single varietal honeys and we believe that consumers who have an appreciation for these should be able to import these for personal use.
By providing a clearly stated and honest campaign, which is open to feedback from the wider beekeeping community, The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia believes strongly that we can gain the support of the Australian Beekeeping Industry and the general public of Australia, many of whom are becoming more conscious of their food choices and the follow on effects these have on the primary production industry in Australia. Buy successfully galvanizing the commercial industry in Australia and winning the support of the public, The Beekeepers Coalition of Australia believes that we can achieve our goal of a ban on imported honey.
We would like to ask everyone to sign this petition with their real identities. As was pointed out to us ourselves recently, change and support wont happen with out open and honest discussion and transparency. To show that we have the support of the industry we need to be able to show clearly that members of the industry support this change and the only way to do this is if we have your names on this petition. We as The Beekeepers Coalition of Australian do not expect you to listen to an anonymous voice, and we do not believe that we should expect the government to do so either.
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