Clarifying a sticky situation

2018-08-15 06:00
Liz and Rob Beach, owners of Hilton Honey Farms.PHOTO: supplied

Liz and Rob Beach, owners of Hilton Honey Farms.PHOTO: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE recent airing discussing honey adulteration on Carte Blanche has caused both concern and confusion amongst many South African consumers.

Husband and wife team Rob and Liz Beach, owners of Hilton Honey Farms, explain that there has been consumer confusion regarding C3 and C4 sugars found in honey.

“Honey consists of C3 and C4 sugars and a variety of minerals, vitamins, pollen and wax. There is a natural blend of C3 and C4 sugars in all honey, especially from KZN where sugar cane is grown. Fynbos honey and the famous Manuka honey from New Zealand contain high levels of C4 sugars. Honey collected from flowers produces C3 sugars and honey collected from grasses like sugar cane and Paspalum produces C4 sugars. There are no laws in South Africa regarding levels of these sugars and this can only be tested overseas,” explains Rob.

In the Carte Blanche segment it was alleged that Hilton Honey Farms add sugar to their honey resulting in an elevated C4 sugar reading.

“Hilton Honey Farms has supplied a good product to KZN for the past 35 years and would never intentionally do anything to jeopardise our products. We purchase as much locally produced honey as possible from local beekeepers and blend it into our other honeys which we import from reputable suppliers.

It maintains a flavour, body, aroma and rich colour to which our local customers are accustomed and enjoy.”

“The test results that were given to us by Carte Blanche included several discrepancies. There was no name on the document relating the sample to me or my company and it stated that the sample tested was not sealed. I was not aware of my product ever being tested and in order to look into this, I need to know where the alleged sample came from,” says Rob.

To date neither SABIO (the South African Bee Industry Organisation) nor Carte Blanche have been able to supply Hilton Honey Farms with the batch number or sample of the honey allegedly tested.

“This is a serious allegation which we are urgently trying to get to the bottom of.”

Following the allegations Hilton Honey Farms made a decision, as a precautionary measure and out of respect for their customers, to conduct a voluntary recall of their honey for testing to ensure that it is compliant.

“We received the test results back on August 7 and can confirm that the independent results verify that our honey adheres to the regulations that govern honey in South Africa,” explains Liz.

Hilton Honey Farms will continue to conduct ongoing independent testing going forward and are also in the process of becoming HACCAP compliant and accredited.

During the Carte Blanche interview, Devi Sankaree Govender pointed out that the Hilton Honey Farms labelling needed to include the origin of all the honeys processed. “We have since updated all our labelling accordingly,” says Rob.

“We are firmly against any form of honey adulteration and as a small, family-run business we will endeavor to do everything we can to restore the integrity of the honey industry.”

— Supplied.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.