Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

I would like to know if honey can be certified as organic? Can I get certification in Puerto Rico?

George Quinones
Florida

 

DEAR GEORGE:

When the U.S. National Organic Standards were finalized in 2002, they didn't include specific guidelines for organic apiculture, and the term "livestock" was defined to exclude bees (and aquatic animals—but that's another story). Draft organic apiculture standards were put forward by a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Apiculture Task Force in September 2001, but they have yet to be officially approved. Instead, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a policy statement in May 2002 saying that honey could be certified under the existing standards. Essentially, this has left it up to individual certifying agencies to decide what's reasonable for organic farmers managing bees and producing organic honey and other bee products.

In terms of your second question, you can use New Farm's Guide to US Organic Certifiers to find a list of certification agencies active in different parts of the world. We suggest you contact a few of them directly and ask if they work in Puerto Rico, or if they can recommend another certifier who does. You also might ask around among the organic farming community in Puerto Rico to see who people there work with.

NF

 

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