First Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey Enters U.S. Market

First Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey Enters U.S. Market

Food & Drink

First Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey Enters U.S. Market


p(right caption). More than 700 Fair Trade Certified beekeepers tend nearly 6000 hives on Chiapan coffee plantations in the Sierra Madre. Coffee and honey are Chiapas’ key agricultural products.

Wholesome Sweeteners, the nation’s leading Fair Trade Certified organic and natural sweetener company, has introduced the first-ever Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey in the U.S. market.

The company also announced that its Fair Trade programs have netted more than $1 million in additional revenues for its Fair Trade Certified partners, supporting their efforts to earn a living wage.

The honeys are collected traditionally by Mayan beekeepers in Chiapas and the Yucatan, Mexico. Wholesome pays a fair price directly to the beekeepers, who have formed vibrant worker-owned cooperatives which create meaningful employment, improve product quality, and send their children to school—until now, an unaffordable luxury in the economically-depressed regions. Additionally, by protecting the hives and native plant forage areas, Fair Trade encourages biodiversity and helps the forests thrive.

‘We discovered that the Yucatan and Chiapas, areas embroiled in serious labor unrest just a few years ago, produce truly superior honey,’ said Pauline McKee, Wholesome Sweeteners’ vice president of Marketing. ‘With the Fair Trade program, we are able to create business opportunities and a new sense of stability. The beekeepers are able to improve standards for their families, their communities and their honey, and protect precious rainforests and habitat.’

Organic honey

The multi-floral honey is collected from hives isolated deep within southern Mexico’s rainforests and designated organic agricultural zones. The bees forage only on wildflowers and, for one brief week every year, organically cultivated coffee blooms. As the season progresses and the flowers change, the honeys’ character changes too, deepening in color and flavor. Although the Mayans have a centuries-old
beekeeping tradition, honey production has only recently been recognized as a viable and stable income opportunity in the global market.

Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Honey comes in two flavors.

  • Amber Honey – a rich nectar with warm caramel notes, perfect in beverages, baking, for glazing chicken and drizzled on fresh fruit or hot toast.
  • Raw Honey – a thick creamy honey with a butterscotch essence; perfect spread on warm biscuits, in herby salad dressings or with yogurt and hard cheeses. This luscious organic honey is not heated above 110€F to maintain the nectar’s natural properties.

Both honey varieties are now available in grocery stores and natural food stores nationwide.

“We are delighted that Wholesome Sweeteners continues to take a leadership role by establishing Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey,’ said TransFair USA CEO Paul Rice. ‘Wholesome Sweeteners is helping consumers make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of family farmers.”

Million-Dollar Milestone

In honor of October’s Fair Trade month, Wholesome Sweeteners announced a million-dollar milestone – since 2005, its Fair Trade Certified programs have raised more than $1 million in additional income for the sugar cane farmers and beekeepers it works with in Malawi, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Mexico. The program is a collaborative effort involving farmers and cooperatives, TransFair USA and the Fairtrade Labeling Organization, importers and consumers.


More TFC