PLAYERS in the honey sector have urged government to register Zimbabwe on the European Union (EU) approved list of exporters in order to tap into the $2,3 billion industry.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZimTrade, the country’s export promotion body, revealed that players in the honey sector were failing to export to the EU because Zimbabwe was not on the approved list of exporters.
“It is imperative for honey producers to understand that for natural honey to gain access to the EU market, the producing country has to be registered on the ‘third country list’ and fulfil specific requirements such as quality, packaging, traceability as well as health and safety standards,” ZimTrade said.
“Zimbabwe is currently not on the list of approved countries that are allowed to export honey into the EU. In order for local honey exporters to take advantage of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement signed with the EU, the sector should engage the government to get the country registered on the “third country list.”
The trade promotion body however, said in the meantime, honey producers should tap into opportunities within the Sadc and Comesa regions.
According to Trade Map, the global natural honey industry was worth $2,3bn in 2015 with the EU being the biggest importer, spending over $1bn.
This, therefore, presents a good opportunity for Zimbabwe to tap into the lucrative industry as currently, the country’s exports of honey were nil.
The body recently completed a two-day Marketing and Branding for International Competitiveness (MBIC) Training Programme where 21 companies drawn from the honey sector were trained.
The training was part of ZimTrade’s export development initiatives, which were aimed at fostering an export culture amongst Zimbabwe’s small-and-medium enterprises as well as established companies.
The training provided participants with the knowledge and skills to assess their export readiness, identify export opportunities and develop market access strategies.
Techniques on obtaining competitive intelligence, packaging and labelling for exports, were also presented.
Speaking at an MBIC training workshop, Jacky Charbonneau, a consultant from the International Trade Centre (ITC), emphasised the importance for producers to differentiate the Zimbabwean honey from that of other competing countries.
One of the honey processors, Tendai Mutsvedu, said as a result of the training, they were going to invest into glass jars packaging in line with the international standards.