Fake Chinese honey (made without bees) invades Italy. It's cheap, but it doesn't meet the standards.
It is not made by bees and for this reason it costs much less, almost 3€ less than Italian honey: so the fake honey made in China invades Italy and threatens farmers. The competition from the fake honey found in supermarkets at the price of 1€ (compared to almost 4€ for the Italian one) "has serious repercussions not only on the supply chain but on all Italian agriculture, which depends 70% on bees as pollinators". (source: Cia-Italian Farmers).
While worldwide production is decreasing due to climate change, Chinese production is increasing. The product is adulterated and mixed with the natural one to hide the counterfeit. Experts from the Cia-Agricoltori Italiani specify that this is a fake honey which is difficult to detect at border controls and which creates unfair competition which severely penalizes Italian beekeeping where the average production price is 3.99 €/kg. In short, a honey created with the addition of sugar syrup and with production methods that do not comply with European standards, where man replaces bees in the maturation process.
A faster and cheaper artisan production that accelerates the dehumidification and maturation processes that bees carry out with much more dilated times, which make the final product devoid of its peculiar characteristics of genuineness and nutritional substances. And it is precisely for this reason that the drop in honey production caused by atmospheric changes in recent years has affected the whole world, including Italy with -50% in 2019, but not the Chinese one which, on the other hand, increases capacity from year to year. Chinese honey exports to Europe at competitive prices, says Cia, are about 80 thousand tons. Hence the current market difficulties for the 63 thousand Italian beekeepers, a sector that counts 1.5 million hives, 220 thousand swarms, 23 thousand tons of product and over 60 varieties. The heavy fallout from the competition of fake honey does not only affect the supply chain but the whole Italian agriculture, which depends 70% on bees as pollinators. In the EU, honey produced by bees must be dried and matured in the hive without the addition of foreign substances, while in China there is no obligation to respect this process. (source: ilmessaggero.it)
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