International organizations back Turkish pine honey

By Aysu Bicer

ANKARA (AA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Friday announced plans to certify Turkish pine honey at the EU level, aiming to increase the efficiency, sustainability and inclusiveness of Turkey’s honey sector.

A seminar organized under an initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gathered the country’s major pine honey industry players — beekeepers, processors, exporters, government officials and scientists, according to a statement.

"The country [Turkey] is keen to register this unique honey with a geographical indication (GI) at EU level – a move that is likely to increase exports, improve efficiency along the supply chain and revitalise local economies," it said.

It added that the global market for GI foods is lucrative, totalling around €50 billion (nearly $55 billion) per year in trade.

Consumers worldwide are increasingly willing to pay a premium for products that represent quality and authenticity.

"Pine honey certified by TURKPATENT and the European Union would protect Turkey’s pine honey from fakes on the market," it noted.

Building a consortium among Turkey’s pine honey industry players around the GI, including Balparmak, one of the country’s leading honey firms, will only strengthen the industry by improving quality and strengthening bargaining power, it added.

Turkey produces the lion’s share of the world’s pine honey — a product that is spicier, darker and more resinous than its counterpart, flower honey — and is home to one-fifth of the world’s honey bee subspecies, more than 90% of the world’s pine honey comes from Turkey.

Most of Turkey’s pine honey comes from the Mugla province in its southwest. Protecting and promoting pine honey from Muğla could open up new market opportunities in Turkey and abroad.

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