Weather conditions ensure strong flow of Australian honey

Posted by James Ferre on 18th December 2008

One of Australia’s major honey producers is predicting an outstanding season as a result of rising demand and stronger supplies following good flowering conditions around the nation. The quality of honey is expected to be high as the prevailing climate conditions provide enhanced density and flavour.

Leabrook Farms, which is owned by Adelaide’s Spring Gully Foods, expects to sell more than 4000 tonnes of honey this year sourced entirely from Australian bee keepers, a dramatic increase on the 800 tonne production of 2001.

Mr Kevin Webb, Managing Director of Spring Gully Foods, said that while Australian honey stocks had been very low during the winter months, the return to spring and good
flowering in many forests around Australia meant that new honey was now flowing. “We are extremely optimistic about the current season,” he said. “The drought and recent floods in Queensland may have some impact on honey availability, but overall, our bee keepers are confident of a good year, with high-quality honey, and solid growth into the future.”

“Partly as a result of the drought and floods, the honey this year also has exceptional flavour and density,” he added. “Australia’s honey industry is on the brink of a major expansion as overseas countries hit by declines in bee numbers look for alternative sources of honey and crop growers in Australia look to expand.”

“Overseas demand for honey and for Queen bees to overcome declining hive numbers in those countries also points to growing interest in bee keeping as a profession. The USA has reported a drop of about 25% in bee hive numbers because of disease and is looking to Australia as a clean supplier,” he noted.

Largely based on Australia’s “clean and green” reputation, Leabrook Farms has managed to secure a number of lucrative export deals recently, Mr Webb reported. And future expansion in Australian and international markets is on the cards.

Bullish about the future, Mr Webb reported that Australian stocks will continue to grow over the next few years. “Only recently we heard that almond growers in Australia will need another 100,000 hives in the next few years just to fertilise the new orchards that have been planted, so bee keepers will certainly be in demand. This will have the additional benefit of increasing honey supplies in coming years,” he advised.