Procedures for Exporting Honey from Kenya - Part 2
Types of honey
Usually, types of honey relate to their processing and/or packing. In general terms, honey is sold in liquefied form, but it can also be solid honey. These include the following:
•Comb honey
•Certified organic honey
•Crystallized honey
•Pasteurised honey
•Raw honey
•Strained honey
Comb honey: Comb honey is meant to be consumed still in the honeybees’ wax comb. It is Imagetraditionally collected using standard wooden frames. The frames are collected and the comb cut out in chunks before packaging. Chunk honey is honey packed in wide-mouthed containers consisting of one or more pieces of comb honey immersed in extracted liquid honey.

Certified organic honey: This is honey produced, processed, and packaged in accordance with national regulations, and certified as such by a recognized government body or an independent organic farming certification organisation. In some countries, the standard covers not only the origin of bees, but also where the apiaries are located. These must be on land that is certified as organic, and within certain radius from the apiary site, nectar and pollen sources must consist essentially of organic crops or uncultivated areas. Organic honey is relatively scarce due to the use of antibiotics and sprays and in addition, conventional honeybees gather nectar from plants that have been sprayed with pesticides.

Crystallized honey: This is honey in which some of the glucose content has spontaneously Imagecrystallized from solution as the monohydrate. It is also called “granulated honey”.
Pasteurised honey: Pasteurised honey has been heat-treated. Pasteurisation reduces the moisture level, destroys yeast cells and liquefies crystals in the honey. While this process sterilizes the honey and improves shelf-life, it has some disadvantages. Excessive exposure to heat may result in product deterioration and reduces enzyme activity. The heat also affects appearance, taste, and fragrance. Heat processing can also darken the colour

Raw honey: Raw honey is honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat. Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax. Local raw honey is sought after by allergy sufferers as the pollen impurities are thought to lessen the sensitivity to hay fever.

Strained honey: Strained honey is honey which has been passed through a mesh material to remove particulate material (pieces of wax, propolis, other defects) without removing the pollen, minerals or valuable enzymes.
Control of product containers and packaging material
  • All containers used for honey must be clean, dry and in good condition to avoid foreign body contamination. They must offer adequate protection from external contamination.
  • Containers used for preparing, processing or otherwise handling honey should be of such material as will make them easily cleaned and disinfected and shall, be made of stainless steel or other material resistant to honey corrosion e.g. food grade plastic

Quality Assurance of honey products
  • Honey must be prepared in accordance with hygienic considerations contained in relevant legislations.
  • Honey must be practically free from inorganic matters foreign to its composition, such as insect debris, grains of sand when offered for sale or for use in any product for human consumption.
  • The processor must have a comprehensive system of quality assurance and monitoring to ensure the processing of safe, legal product in compliance with the agreed standards.
  • The processor must have properly trained staff to maintain agreed quality standards, with clearly defined responsibilities covering all aspects of operations.
  • The quality assurance department should be operational at all times when processing is in progress and adequate resources must be made available for the quality assurance department to fulfill its tasks.
  • Where chemical, physical or microbiological analysis is required, sample must be analysed by approved laboratories and sample storage areas provided.
  • The results of the quality checks together with any corrective actions taken in response to adverse results must be legibly documented and held for a minimum period required by legislation.


Pre employment health checks and annual checks

  • No honey establishment should employ any person affected with communicable diseases in transmissible stage especially in a department where honey is handled.
  • All company employees must be required to complete an appropriate examination and medical questionnaire prior to commencing work.
  • Persons suffering from any infectious diseases, in particular intestinal disorders, sore throat, cough and open suppurating wounds, must not be permitted to work in contact with honey.
  • Persons suffering from infectious illness must be declared medically fit by a doctor before being allowed to return to work.
  • Any person while engaged in or about the establishment in handling of honey must wear suitable protective clothing including head covering and boots all of which articles should be readily washable and kept as clean as is reasonably practicable.
  • Bi annual medical examinations by all employees should be undertaken.

Hand washing Discipline

  • Provision must be made to ensure that hands are kept clean for persons engaged in handling honey by using non perfumed bacterial soap and be kept dry after washing.
  • Any employee who handles any honey should in all cases, after visiting the toilet rooms or urinals wash their hands before handling honey or equipment used in the preparation of honey.
  • Wash basins must be supplied with materials for cleaning the hands and single use hand towels or other equipment for drying hands. Hand operated taps and ceramic sinks should be avoided because of their potential contamination risk.

Staff Facilities – Toilets and change rooms
Every establishment shall have adequate sanitary facilities and accommodation including:

  • Dressing rooms, toilet rooms and urinals in sufficient numbers, ample size and conveniently located
  • Modern lavatory accommodations with hot and cold water and towels or other equipment for drying hands (their use should be supervised)
  • Toilet rooms and urinals shall have separate drainage. All toilets must be adequately lit and ventilated and separated from production areas and supplied with hand washing facilities
  • Separate male and female toilets must be provided adequately for the number of employees and must comply with the minimum requirements under the law
  • No person shall change his clothes in any part of the establishment storing or containing honey. There should be adequate changing facilities to facilitate personnel changing into protective clothing
  • Changing rooms and the entire establishment must not be used for eating, drinking and smoking


  • Processed honey must conform to Kenyan standards and be safe for human consumption.
  • Honey samples must be analysed in accredited laboratories for pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals.
  • Honey must be processed according to accepted specifications. Suspect honey must clearly be identified as such and dealt with accordingly.
  • Honey must not have contaminants such as veterinary drugs, pesticides and heavy metals above the maximum residue limits as prescribed by existing legislations.
  • In cases where residues and substances above the critical limits are detected, the consignment must be destroyed.
  • Honey judged unfit for human consumption must be incinerated as by way of disposal or as in accordance with existing legislations.
  • Quality complaints should be recorded when received, investigated and a report made as a basis for the corrective action and company records


  • Be a registered company.
  • Obtain a certificate of origin from KRA-EU, AGOA, COMESA, GSP
  • Fulfil Buyer specific requirements and obtain analysis certificate for the pesticides, heavy metals and antibiotics, from KEBs, KEPHIS, or University of Nairobi.
  • A chemical analysis to ascertain the physical status of honey is also necessary.
  • Obtain a public health Export certificate from the competent authority.
  • Export to the buyer as per agreed specifications, quantities and packages

Product presentation of honey at the time of exporting
The following information should appear on the packaging material and accompanying documents:

1.    Name of the product and lot identification
2.    The country of origin
3.    Name and official registration number of the honey-processing establishment
4.    In case of honey collecting centre, the name and registration number of the centre
5.    Address of the producer, processor or packer shall appear on the container
6.    Expiry date
  • From time to time, the importer and exporter must be subjected to honey residue monitoring and cost shall be met by the exporter, packer or processors.
  • Samples of honey, water, or any other article in the establishment should be taken at the expense of the management of the establishment, as often as may be deemed necessary for inspection.
  • Honey may be designated by the name of the geographical or topographical region if the honey was produced exclusively within the area referred to in the designation.
  • Honey may be designated according to floral or plant source if it comes wholly or mainly from that particular source and has the physiochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with that origin for example, acacia honey.
  • Where the honey has been named according to floral, plant source, or by the name of a geographical or topological region, then the name of country where the honey has been produced will be declared.
  • Honey may be designated according to floral or plant source, then the common name or the botanical name of the floral source shall be in close proximity to the word “honey”.
  • Honey may be designated according to the method of removal from the comb such as extracted honey, pressed honey or drained honey. It may also be designated according to the physical state for example, liquid, crystallized, comb honey or chunk honey.

More information on export of honey available at the EPC / CBIK Library
•    Honey Guidelines and Procedures
•    Key contacts of beekeeping institutions, Ministries
•    CBI EU Market Survey on honey and other bee products

chss business translation business financeaccounting managementscience economics ids idis awsc arts african-studies arabic confucius french geography history kiswahili languageskills linguistics literature philosophy politicalscience journalism psychology sociology koreanstudies dlis acfrn law-school commerciallaw privatelaw publiclaw psri caselap kisumu mombasa