Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, is trying to disguise the fact it is now selling cheap imported honey in Coles supermarkets by reviving its Allowrie brand.
Presumably the company doesn’t want to tarnish the mark et standing of its Capilano brand, which has long enjoyed a good reputation in the market as a brand associated only with pure Australian honey.
That may be why the label doesn’t identify Capilano as the honey producer, and instead states that it is a Honey Corporation of Australia Pty Ltd product.
Nevertheless, the address provided for that company is 399 Archerfield Road in Richlands which is, you guessed it, the home of Capilano.
Doubtless Capilano’s switch to disguise, and to imports, has been prompted by the current honey shortage amongst the company’s usual suppliers in Queensland.
Queensland apiarists suffered badly in last years extremely hot summer, with the wax honeycomb in some hives simply melting in the heat.
So it is perhaps understandable that Capilano may see itself as being forced to import honey to fulfil its supply contract with Coles.
But there are a number of disappointing aspects to Capilano’s action.
The Allowrie label certainly meets the regulatory requirements by stating that the bottle is “Packed in Australia from quality imported and local ingredients.”
Arguably a further label statement also meets the requirement for full disclosure.
It says that “While our preference is to use Australian honey, in times of drought and honey shortages we may source quality assured international honey until Australian honey is available again.”
But against the current backdrop of an emerging scandal over fake imported honey, it may be worth considering whether it is Capilano itself who has assured the quality of this imported honey.
Moreover, some reports suggest that Capilano’s honey is being imported from China and Argentina. Both countries have been associated with fake honey scandals in the past.
So it is disappointing that Australian consumers are not being told where the honey is being imported from.
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