Agriculture

Honey processing rules for both small and commercial enterprises

upcoming… Comments

Class topics include beginner beekeeping courses, practicing hive skills, research updates, native bees, and more!

The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory is hosting the next Bee College in Panama City on August 12th and 13th. Bee College is a training event for beekeepers of all experience levels. Bee College participants get the opportunity to learn about bees and beekeeping from government experts. (photo from ISU Extension and Outreach file)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Honey production in Florida is a solid commodity, no matter the size of the operation. Small-scale and commercial operations share a list of 5,000 registered beekeepers, which in turn make up 700,000 households. In Florida, there is often confusion about bottling, labeling and selling honey, especially when newbies want to enter the market and when small businesses are planning to make the commercial leap.

There are two directions a honey producer can take in Florida when it comes to food processing laws. Small growers do not need a permit or inspection under Florida’s cottage food law. According to this exception, bottling and storage of honey can be done in the home kitchen. It is important to note that a local law, ordinance or regulation may not prohibit the production of food on the farm or regulate the preparation, processing, storage and sale of food on the homestead at the farm food business or at a person’s place of residence. Check with your county, local municipality and farmers markets before selling to the public. On the other hand, commercial operations must be authorized by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) – the division of food safety. This level requires a bottling facility that must be checked periodically.

How can small producers of honey claim exemption from food in the country?

  • Gross sales cannot exceed $250,000
  • Upon request, it must provide FDACS with written confirmation of its annual gross sales
  • They store all the country edible honey on the territory of the country food block
  • Honey cannot be sold as a wholesale product
  • Ensure the food is properly labeled (see Figure 1 below)
  • Comply with state and federal tax laws
  • Comply with all applicable county and municipal laws and ordinances governing traffic, parking, noise, signage, and retail home hours of operation.

What about sales?

Home Sweet Home Act” allows producers to sell honey directly from home, at roadside stands, festivals and markets. Manufacturers can also advertise, sell and accept payment online and by mail.

And what if you’re a commercial-grade producer?

Honey producers whose gross sales exceed $250,000 per year and/or who sell their honey on consignment or in bulk are not exempt from paying the cottage meals tax. These operations must be properly licensed by FDACS by obtaining a Food business permit. Florida’s minimum building standards for food establishments can be found at the following link: MINIMUM CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS FOR FOOD.

For more information on beekeeping, please contact your local district extension office.

Information for this article can be found in the UF/IFAS EDIS publication, “Bottling, labeling and selling honey in Florida» By Amy Wu, Jennifer Hagen, Nancy Gentry, James D. Ellis, and Mary Baumer

Bee College – two months!

The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory is hosting the next Bee College in Panama City on August 12th and 13th. Bee College is a training event for beekeepers of all experience levels. Bee College participants get the opportunity to learn about bees and beekeeping from government experts. Class topics include beginner beekeeping courses, practicing hive skills, research updates, native bees, and more!

For more information and a link to register, please visit: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/events-and-activities/bee-college/

-UF/IFAS

https://www.morningagclips.com/honey-processing-regulations-for-both-small-commercial-operations/ Honey processing rules for both small and commercial enterprises

Back to top button