14–15 December 2011: National Workshop on Honey Trade Policy in Pakistan

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A two-day national workshop on honey trade policy was organised from 14 to15 December 2011 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The main aim of the workshop was to develop a common understanding on various issues related to honey trade policy, particularly those related to honey quality standards and developing a mechanism for traceability of residues in honey, as at present the various key stakeholders and partners have different opinions, interpretations, and understanding. 

The 44 participants represented key national stakeholders working in bee-related institutions and enterprises, including the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the Department of Forests, agricultural universities and research organisations, honey producers, exporters/importers, beekeeping associations, and NGOs. Various issues related to legislation and policy (such as honey quality standards and developing a mechanism for traceability in monitoring residues in honey), and beekeeping practices to be followed at national level were discussed and recommendations made based on consensus among the participants. The workshop led to the development of a common understanding among the participants about honey trade issues and opened up discussion for possible future policy interventions and collaboration among stakeholders and partners. Further, the roles and responsibilities of concerned organisations and institutions such as the Honeybee Research Institute (HBRI), Department of Forests, beekeepers associations, honey traders, and the police were also clarified. The workshop activities were covered by television and different print media such as The News, The Observer, and the Directorate of Scientific Information, National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC). From the participants’ point of view, the workshop filled a need of the day and satisfactory feedback was received from all concerned.