The National Honey Board (NHB), under USDA oversight, has a budget from assessments on domestic and imported honey ($0.015 per pound) from businesses marketing over 250,000 pounds a year. The NHB uses this budget for a very focused mission: to increase awareness and usage of honey. In a professional, strategic and measured way, they are working to get more people to use more honey using data driven tactics.
The NHB budget also designates 5% for Production Research. We are all aware of what makes productive hives these days--honey bee health and forage--so that research falls precisely in the wheelhouse of Project Apis m. In 2017, we were asked to manage these Production Research funds for NHB, and we are very excited to be doing that! I attended my first NHB meeting recently to present our progress--and I learned a lot about the great work NHB is doing.
The very professional, ten-member Board consists of three first handlers, two importers, one importer-handler, three producers, and one marketing cooperative representative. If you can think of a way to increase honey markets, chances are they are already doing it. They work non-stop to promote honey with their own staff, and they also hire additional experts to study honey use; develop strategies and initiatives to market; and promote honey to chefs, brewers, consumers, retailers, food service and food developers. From strategic coupon programs to intimate invite-only honey beer educational summits, they are paving the way to sell honey every which way! Be sure to read Doug Hauke’s article (here) about how quickly breweries are increasing honey use. NHB’s hard work with brewers spells opportunity for honey sales! You might think of their website as mostly recipes, but, in fact, if you want to know which kind of jars will help you sell honey, or which demographics are increasing consumption, or if you want to be listed as a seller in their directory for consumers, be sure to see their updated website-launching in May. Go to www.honey.com to see all the sweet things NHB does for our industry!
NHB April meeting, San Diego. Jill Clark (Chair),
Danielle Downey, Brent Barkman, Margaret Lombard (CEO).
Danielle Downey is the Executive Director for Project Apis m. She has been working with honey bees and the parasites that plague them for over 20 years.