About Us

We invite consumers, honey companies, food manufacturers and others to take action! Support True Source Certified and purchase only honey that is legally and ethically sourced.

Stay informed of program and industry updates

If you're a Consumer:

  • Write to the company or retailer that sells your favorite honey and let them know:
    • I don’t see the "True Source Certified" logo on your honey and that concerns me.
    • I want to be sure the honey I enjoy comes from reliable, quality sources.
    • It's important to me that honey is sourced in a legal, ethical way.
    • It's important to me that the U.S. honey industry stays vibrant and that U.S. beekeepers do not continue to be threatened by illegally sourced honey.
    • If you are a honey packer, please reassure me that you're a supporter of True Source Honey, LLC, and that you plan to seek certification, and to display the "True Source Certified" logo on your honey (see www.TrueSourceHoney.com).
    • Customize this letter, which you can copy and paste into an email or mail-able letter.
  • Write to the company that sells the cereal, cookies, beverages or other products you enjoy with honey to ask if they support True Source Certified. Tell them:
    • I want to be sure the (insert product) I enjoy uses honey that comes from reliable, quality sources.
    • It's important to me that honey is sourced in a legal, ethical way.
    • It's important to me that the U.S. honey industry stays vibrant and that U.S. beekeepers do not continue to be threatened by illegally sourced honey.
    • Please reassure me that you buy honey from sources that are True Source Certified (see www.TrueSourceHoney.com).
    • Customize this letter, which you can copy and paste into an email or mail-able letter.
  • Buy only honey that you know is ethically sourced.
  • Tell friends and family about www.TrueSourceHoney.com.

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If you're a Honey Company/Packer:

  • Become True Source Certified! Find out more here. True Source Honey, LLC, has developed the True Source CertifiedTM voluntary system of origin traceability for companies that wish to demonstrate through an independent third-party audit firm that their sourcing practices of honey are in full compliance with U.S. and international trade laws.
  • Follow the tips listed in this quick reference guide to guard against buying Chinese transshipped honey.
  • Tips to Guard Against Buying Chinese Transshipped Honey

    If you are a Honey Packer or Importer:

    Documents

    • Ask the importer for a copy of customs form 3461 on which you will see:
      • Country of origin declared to U.S. customs
      • H.S. code – natural honey should be 0409.00.00
    • Ask for a certificate of origin. In some countries it is a meaningless paper, but in some others, like Vietnam, it is difficult to get without taking the proper steps.
    • If you’re buying from an importer, ask them to sign a declaration and a country of origin affidavit, in addition to the certificate of origin.

    Laboratories
    The following labs are known worldwide for their expertise in honey analysis. Among other tests, they perform a country-of-origin test using pollen analysis and organoleptical analysis.

    Taste and Appearance
    Chinese honey used to have a typical taste. In recent years many in the industry have noticed that the country’s ‘’product’’ sold as honey has no taste, no particular smell and is often light in color.

    If you are buying from a foreign exporter:

    Know your supply chain. In a tight honey supply situation, like the one we’re in now, conditions are not ideal for the creation of a new export honey company. Have you visited the foreign exporter’s plant? Are there any food safety audits? How long has the exporter been in business? Ask for references. Is the foreign supplier a member of a known association in its country?

    Vietnam: Vietnam Beekeepers Association (VBA)

    • Visit the Vietnam Beekeepers Association web site to make sure that the Vietnam exporter is a member: http://www.vba.org.vn

    India: Export Inspection Agency (EIC)

      • All exports to the U.S. from India should be from units that are EIC (Export Inspection Agency) approved, which is only a minimum requirement and not proof that the exporter has sourced the honey in an ethical manner. The list with updates can be seen at: http://www.eicindia.org/eic/appvdunits-honey-main.htm. If the export is through a trader in India, it is more than likely that it may be a questionable shipment, in terms of either origin or quality.

    Also, know that there is no legitimate exporter located in a free port zone. Many of the fraudulent exporters are located in a free trade zone in order to import Chinese honey without customs clearance. They re-export it, changing the country-of-origin from China to the country from where the shipment takes place.

    If you are buying from an importer:

    How long has the importer been in business? Ask for references. Ask the importer if they have checked all of the above.

    Production in the Declared Country-Of-Origin

    Be suspicious when honey is said to be produced in Asian countries or if the price is incredibly competitive.  Recent arrests of importers who fraudulently imported Chinese honey declared it to be from Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. We have consulted experienced importers in the U.S., and none of them believe that there is a commercial export honey industry from the following countries.

    Other Tips:

    If you have other tips on how to become a wiser buyer who performs due diligence in buying decisions, please communicate them to the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association at http://afi.mytradeassociation.org/ or send an email to info@truesourcehoney.com.

  • Ask the importer for a copy of customs form 3461 to determine the country of origin declared to U.S. customs and to confirm that the H.S. code is 0409.00.00.
  • To report suspicious offers/honey shipments, go to the allegations page of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The report can be anonymous.
  • Let us know your thoughts on our True Source Honey Certification Program.

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If you're a Honey Business Customer such as a Wholesaler, Retailer, Food Manufacturer, Foodservice Broker or Importer:

  • Make sure your honey suppliers are True Source Certified.
  • Let us know if your suppliers would like more information about True Source Certification.
  • Support suppliers and food manufacturers that are dedicated to using True Source Certified honey in their products.
  • Let your customers know that you support ethical sourcing of honey products, and show them how you’re helping stop the use of illegally sourced honey.
  • Tips to Guard Against Buying Chinese Transshipped Honey

    If you are a Honey Packer or Importer:

    Documents

    • Ask the importer for a copy of customs form 3461 on which you will see:
      • Country of origin declared to U.S. customs
      • H.S. code – natural honey should be 0409.00.00
    • Ask for a certificate of origin. In some countries it is a meaningless paper, but in some others, like Vietnam, it is difficult to get without taking the proper steps.
    • If you’re buying from an importer, ask them to sign a declaration and a country of origin affidavit, in addition to the certificate of origin.

    Laboratories
    The following labs are known worldwide for their expertise in honey analysis. Among other tests, they perform a country-of-origin test using pollen analysis and organoleptical analysis.

    Taste and Appearance
    Chinese honey used to have a typical taste. In recent years many in the industry have noticed that the country’s ‘’product’’ sold as honey has no taste, no particular smell and is often light in color.

    If you are buying from a foreign exporter:

    Know your supply chain. In a tight honey supply situation, like the one we’re in now, conditions are not ideal for the creation of a new export honey company. Have you visited the foreign exporter’s plant? Are there any food safety audits? How long has the exporter been in business? Ask for references. Is the foreign supplier a member of a known association in its country?

    Vietnam: Vietnam Beekeepers Association (VBA)

    • Visit the Vietnam Beekeepers Association web site to make sure that the Vietnam exporter is a member: http://www.vba.org.vn

    India: Export Inspection Agency (EIC)

      • All exports to the U.S. from India should be from units that are EIC (Export Inspection Agency) approved, which is only a minimum requirement and not proof that the exporter has sourced the honey in an ethical manner. The list with updates can be seen at: http://www.eicindia.org/eic/appvdunits-honey-main.htm. If the export is through a trader in India, it is more than likely that it may be a questionable shipment, in terms of either origin or quality.

    Also, know that there is no legitimate exporter located in a free port zone. Many of the fraudulent exporters are located in a free trade zone in order to import Chinese honey without customs clearance. They re-export it, changing the country-of-origin from China to the country from where the shipment takes place.

    If you are buying from an importer:

    How long has the importer been in business? Ask for references. Ask the importer if they have checked all of the above.

    Production in the Declared Country-Of-Origin

    Be suspicious when honey is said to be produced in Asian countries or if the price is incredibly competitive.  Recent arrests of importers who fraudulently imported Chinese honey declared it to be from Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. We have consulted experienced importers in the U.S., and none of them believe that there is a commercial export honey industry from the following countries.

    Other Tips:

    If you have other tips on how to become a wiser buyer who performs due diligence in buying decisions, please communicate them to the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association at http://afi.mytradeassociation.org/ or send an email to info@truesourcehoney.com.

  • To report suspicious offers/honey shipments, go to the allegations page of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The report can be anonymous.

Back to Top

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