On Friday 23 June 2017, Deputy Premier the Hon Roger Cook MLA, Member for Kwinana, officially opened and poured the first honey at the new Davies Apiaries honey processing facility in Oldbury, south of Perth.
The development of the new state-of-the-art facility is the result of a three year, $1.1 million project to establish a new, internationally recognised certification process for WA’s unique monofloral honeys, those made from a single flower species.
The project was jointly funded by the State Government and the WA honey industry, who worked in close partnership with ChemCentre. ChemCentre is a leading provider of food product testing and certification services in WA and Australia, and has a long history of working with WA producers to establish testing and certification processes.
ChemCentre Principal Food Scientist Ken Dods said that until now, there had been no certification process for monofloral honey products in Australia, which essentially confirms the source and unique attributes of the product.
“WA honeys are considered among the best in the world and are in high demand by discerning honey consumers internationally and for therapeutic medical use,” Mr Dods said.
“In particular, ChemCentre’s research has shown that both jarrah and marri monofloral honeys, which are both unique to WA, have higher levels of antimicrobial activity than New Zealand’s famous Manuka honey, which increases their appeal to health conscious and discerning buyers internationally.
“The new certification process developed by ChemCentre will protect and grow the WA honey industry and is helping businesses like Davies Apiaries expand into new markets.”
The certification process is based on compositional chemistry (analysis of the chemical make-up of honey), and will help protect against product substitution and dilution with other lower grade honeys. This will give consumers confidence in the integrity, traceability and quality of Western Australia’s monofloral honeys – “from hive to market”.
Managing director of Davies Apiaries, Stephen Davies, said the stringency of the certification was on show at their new facility. “We’re a family owned and operated business who’ve been producing honeybee products for more than 40 years,” Mr Davies said.
“We provide first-stage honey extraction and integrated processing and packaging services, to ensure products meet the standards required by high end and medical grade markets in Australia and internationally. This new certification will drive sustained increases in market demand, and will provide a catalyst for the transformation of the whole industry.”
Feature image: Ken Dods (Principal Food Scientist, ChemCentre), Stephen Davies (Manager Davies Apiaries, MP Reece Whitby, Deputy Premier Roger Cook