GFSI Promotes Food Safety During 2017 Global Food Conference

Global Food Safety Initiative pic

Global Food Safety Initiative
Image: mygfsi.com

Awarded the Grade of AA by the British Retail Consortium, Honey Holding l, Ltd., has established a reputation as a provider of high quality honey products. Honey Holding has also received certification from the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Facilitated by The Consumer Goods Forum, GFSI ensures the safety of global food supply chains by implementing rigorous food management system standards. GFSI employs governments and other influential institutions in addition to food safety experts to create a technical working group responsible for promoting these standards.

With a vision of ensuring food safety for consumers, GFSI organized the Global Food Safety Conference, a 3-day event that brings together thousands of food safety professionals. This event aims to promote awareness of the importance of food safety. It also provides professionals in the food industry with an opportunity to build networks and gain insight from their peers.

The 2017 Global Food Safety Conference will be held from February 28 through March 2 in Houston.

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Steps in Honey Processing

Honey Processing pic

Honey Processing
Image: honeysolutions.com

Industrial honey supplier Honey Holding delivers 25 million pounds of honey to major bakeries and food processors in America each year. To provide its clients with quality honey products, Honey Holding follows stringent standards in honey processing.

Processing honey involves several steps:

Removing honeycombs from the hive. A beekeeper, while wearing protective gear, removes the combs from the hive through different methods. One approach is to smoke the bees out of the hive, which encourages them to gorge themselves with honey before fleeing; engorged bees are less inclined to sting, making it easier for the beekeeper to collect the honeycomb. Another method employs the use of a separator board, which separates the brood from the honey chamber.

Uncapping the honeycombs. Honeycombs are placed inside a transport box, and relocated to a room away from the hive. The beekeeper uses a long-handled uncapping fork to remove the caps from the honeycomb, in preparation for extraction.

Extracting honey. Once caps are removed, the honeycombs are placed in an extractor. Centrifugal force is used to pull out the honey from the comb and into the honey bucket. This honey is now ready to be delivered to commercial distributors.

Processing and bottling. Commercial distributors further process the honey by melting out the crystals and straining bee parts and pollen. It is then packaged into jars for commercial and retail distribution.

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference and Tradeshow in January

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference
Image: nabeekeepingconference.com

One of the largest industrial suppliers of honey in the US, Texas-based Honey Holding provides more than 25 million pounds of honey to bakeries and food processors every year. Honey Holding also maintains membership with the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), which will join the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) and the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) in hosting the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in January.

The North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow welcomes professionals from throughout the beekeeping industry and serves as a forum for the latest information on industry news, products, and services. Guests may attend a variety of events ranging from workshops and general sessions to keynote presentations and track sessions for novice and seasoned beekeepers alike. Furthermore, vendors will exhibit a broad selection of industry products and services.

In addition to informational programming, the conference will host several benefit and networking events. Social events include an auxiliary luncheon and meeting, a dinner social, and the annual banquets for the AHPA and ABF. The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees will also host a luncheon. Silent and live auctions will benefit the ABF, the AHPA, and the American Honey Queen program.

The San Luis Resort and Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, will host the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow on January 10-14, 2017. Registration rates vary according to membership with the AHPA, ABF, CHC, the Texas Beekeepers Association, and other select beekeeping organizations. Attendees may also purchase family and single-day passes at discounted prices.

For additional information on the conference, visit nabeekeepingconference.com.

Beekeeping as a Hobby or Career

Beekeeping pic

Beekeeping
Image: honeysolutions.com

While Honey Holding of Baytown, Texas, imports millions of pounds of honey annually from overseas, the company also operates several thousand hives in more than 70 locations throughout Texas and Louisiana. With the steady decline in domestic beekeeping in the United States since World War II, Honey Holding is making a concerted effort to renew interest through employment at its facilities and training programs for local high school students.

Whether a hobby or a serious career choice, beekeeping can be a rewarding experience. Despite the falling numbers, there are still nearly 100,000 private beekeepers in the United States, both hobbyist and professional.

Maintaining a single colony is roughly as challenging as common gardening. The two hobbies go well together since the bees’ activity directly aids the growth and spreading of flowering plants.

Bees themselves do most of the work, leaving the keeper to monitor the hive and extract the honey. The primary challenge of beekeeping is making sure the bees are safe, secure, and under control.

Proper materials for sheltering bees are essential, as hives will need to be shielded from wind and cold weather. Bees also need to swarm in the springtime to gather nectar, which may be disruptive or even dangerous to neighbors.

A starting investment for a hobbyist can cost roughly $500 for a pair of hives, which together can produce as much as 100 pounds of honey per year. A business will need to invest at least 10 times that to properly set up 50 or more hives along with equipment to manage the hives. A business can expect to earn substantial profits after the second year, thanks to the low maintenance and labor costs of beekeeping.

A Look at a Few of the 4,000 Species of Bees

Carpenter bees Image: en.wikipedia.org

Carpenter bees
Image: en.wikipedia.org

Honey Holding I, Ltd., knows bees. The company has invested half a million dollars into a partnership with Beckert Bees, in order to open up a new job market in the southeast Texas area. Honey Holding, one of the major suppliers of honey in the United States, hopes to use its expertise to provide new sources of locally produced honey for its customers.

The U.S. is home to some 4,000 species of bees. Many varieties of bees assist in food production by pollinating a wide variety of crops. Apples, peaches, plums, alfalfa, avocados, almonds, and other food plants are pollinated by bees.

Some of the more common varieties include the following species:

Bumblebees can sting more than one time because their stingers do not detach from their bodies when they attack. Although bumblebee stings can be excruciatingly painful, female bumblebees are the only ones that have stingers, and they are typically not very aggressive. Bumblebees are extremely social, forming large family groups.

Leaf-cutter and mason bees make their homes inside holes bored into trees by other insects. There, they hollow out chambers to use as nurseries. Mason bees use clay to seal entrances shut; leafcutters cut small circles from leaves to line their nests.

Carpenter bees are solitary bees that make holes for themselves and their young in wooden structures. Painting or varnishing exposed wooden structures can keep this species from burrowing into outdoor furnishings.

Six Tips for the Care of Honeybees

Honey Solutions pic

Honey Solutions
Image: honeysolutions.com

One of the largest industrial honey suppliers in the country, Honey Holding operates out of Baytown, Texas, and produces approximately 20 million pounds of honey annually. Honey Holding makes honey quality a high priority, which requires careful attention to the care of the honeybees that create it. The following are suggestions for the care of honeybees.

1. Plant bee-friendly plants. Favorites include fruit- and flower-bearing plants, such as fruit trees and bushes, lavender, and buddleia.

2. Avoid pesticides, as they can kill bees and other desirable garden creatures.

3. Allow propolis production. Bees use propolis for a wide variety of purposes: it mummifies invading insects that enter the hive, serves as an antibacterial agent, and helps keep the hive clean. It also offers a number of health benefits to humans.

4. Honey is the natural winter food source for bees, so make sure to leave behind enough of it for the hive to sustain itself during the winter months. You can also harvest honey in the spring rather than the fall to allow them to produce enough.

5. Ventilate hives for winter. Bees cluster together to keep warm, and clusters can easily reach 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which creates condensation when it meets cold. Improper ventilation can cause the condensation to leak into the hive and make bees wet, and even freeze them. To properly ventilate the hive, use porous wood that absorbs moisture or create a small ventilation slit on the side of the hive.

6. Stay vigilant about diseases. There are a number of bacterial and fungal diseases that pose a risk to the bee colony. Know the signs of each and take steps to prevent them. Also keep watch for signs of pests such as mites and wax moths, which pose a risk to the colony’s health by feeding on baby bees and adult bees.

Global Food Safety Initiative Works for Unified Safe Food Management

Global Food Safety Initiative pic

Global Food Safety Initiative
Image: mygfsi.com

Baytown, Texas-based Honey Holding processes and markets a variety of liquid and dried honey products to premier bakers and food processors across the country. Honey Holding operates with a focus on producing quality honey and participates in the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards, a leading certification program administered by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Launched in May 2000, the GFSI provides thought leadership and guidance for food safety management systems and works to ensure that supply chains deliver foods safe for all consumers. It operates with the mission of continuously improving food safety management and works toward four primary objectives: reduce food safety risks, manage costs in global food systems, promote effective global food systems, and facilitate international collaboration. Furthermore, the GFSI serves as a platform for leading food experts in multiple industries worldwide to share knowledge and establish a unified approach to safe food management.

Need for a recognized food safety management system rose in the 1990s, during which time a series of high-profile food safety crises occurred. Consumer confidence in the food industry fell due to instances of dioxin, listeria, and the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, otherwise known as mad cow disease. Food retailer CEOs worldwide decided to take action and collaborated through their own independent networks to create the GFSI, a nonprofit initiative that would be accepted everywhere once certified. In order to unify food safety management across the world, the GFSI networked with existing foundations that included the BRC, the Food Marketing Institute, and the Safe Quality Food Institute.

Today, the Consumer Goods Forum manages daily operations of the GFSI, and an industry-driven board of directors consisting of food service operators, manufacturers, and retailers provides its strategic direction.