Only 7 samples of honey were tested in the laboratory last year
Why honey producers do not address to the laboratory?
Georgian honey is still being sent to Riga for a complete examination
In order to enter the EU market, Georgian honey must safety parameters required by relevant legislation of European countries. The safety of honey should be checked in an internationaly accredited laboratory.
The laboratory, where honey examination is possible, is also available in Georgia. It operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and several million Euros have been spent for its modern equipment. The laboratory has been accredited by the National Institute of Standards in the United States since 2013 and it also holds ISO 17025. However, honey examination conducted by the laboratory is not enough for the EU countries, because there are substances that cannot be found in the lab.
For the last few years, Georgian honey is sent to Riga, accredited laboratory in Latvia to conduct comprehensive and costly analysis. These tests are financed from the state budget.
Irakli Guledani, Director of the laboratory:
“Our laboratory responds to 80% of EU requirements. We can test honey up to 90 parameters, Including phosphorous, chlorate pesticides, antibiotics and other substances. Our first task was to implement research methods on antibiotics that were the largest risk factor in Georgia and examine what kind of honey we had.
Business sector itself should be interested in what parameter needs to be examined. Every country has its own requirements on parameters. Germany may have one list, France -another. None of the labs can determine the exact list. If the entrepreneur wants to send his honey to Germany, we cannot dictate what parameters need to be checked. He should address to Germany to find out what parameters need to be tested. However, there is no guarantee that the country will not require to examine the 101-th parameter.
We have a honey technical regulation that determines its qualitative indicators. We can check any parameter indicated in the list according to international standard. However, unfortunately, we don’t get orders for checking all parameters. Last year, we have got only 7 samples of honey to check on antibiotics. Beekeepers can order research in our laboratory, which will show them the picture, what kind of honey they have and I would like them to use this opportunity.”
Author: Nona Kvlividze
The article is prepared with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and "Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme."