Module 16: Labeling of Apiculture Products

Mr. Hubert Reynolds (B.Sc. Computer Sciences and Biochemistry), Head, Department of Compliance, Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, Saint Lucia.

Table of Contents

Labeling of Apiculture Products

Why Label?

Labels are intended to:

  • Provide the consumer with information about the product example the country of origin, the manufacturer etc.
  • Distinguish one manufacturer’s product from another
  • Prevent fraud and provide for fair practices in the market

Who Is Responsible For Labeling?

The person/ company who sells or distributes  products intended for sale to the public

  • Farmer
  • Retailer

Apiculture Products

Prepackaged apiculture products include:

  • Honey
  • Mead
  • Royal jelly
  • Pollen
  • Propolis

PR packaged apiculture products include:

  • Beeswax
  • Propolis – for external use only

Relevant CROSQ Standards

  • CRS 55 – 1: 2016 Labelling of Goods – Part 1 – General Requirements
  • CRS 5: 2010 Labelling of Pre-Packaged Food
  • CRS 55 – 2: 2016 Labelling of Goods – Part 2: Specific Requirements for Pre- Packaged Goods
  • Specification for Honey CRS 18:2011

Label Requirements

Common Name

  • Honey
  • Bee Pollen
  • Bee Propolis
  • Beeswax
  • Mead 
  • Royal Jelly

Country of Origin

Country where processing is performed.

Net Contents

This statement provides the amount of food/product  in the container or package.

  • By volume, for liquid foods
  • By weight, for solid food
  • Either by weight or volume, for semi-solid or viscous food
  • The net weight or volume must be listed in the metric measurement or both imperial and metric.

Metric Units

Solid – example Beeswax

  • Up to 999 g 🡪 grams (g)
  • 1000 g and over 🡪kilograms (kg)

Fluids – Mead

  • Up to 999 ml 🡪milliliters (ml) 
  • From 1000 ml and above 🡪 Liters (L)

Manufacturer Information

Business name and address of manufacturer, packer, distributor, importer, exporter or vendor

Product Traceability

  • Document 
  • Origin of the honey colonies, suppliers
  • Delivery of honey
  • Date of honey extraction
  • Honey treatment processing e.g. mixing
  • Storage time

Product lot/batch number

Lot/Batch number assigned must permit traceability

List of Ingredients

List of ingredients except for single ingredient foods – example Honey,

  • Alcoholic beverages for which there exist national standards
  • Any other products permitted by the national standards body for exemption
  • Ingredients must be preceded by appreciate title e.g. Ingredients, contents, prepared from
  • Ingredients shall be listed in descending order of weight at time of manufacture

Compound Ingredients

Compound ingredients (An ingredient made up of two or more ingredients) may be declared, in brackets. If it constitutes less than 5% of the food, ingredients need not be declared except:


Food additives which serve a technological function or those which are known to cause hypersensitivity such as Aspartame, Monosodium glutamate, Potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and sodium nitrite.

An example of a compound ingredient within a product: honey chocolate

Ingredients: honey, chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, soya lecithin, flavoring).

Pre-packaged Foods

Foods and ingredients known to cause hypersensitivity shall always be declared

Water added to a food shall be declared, except when it forms part of an ingredient such as syrup or broth. Water or other volatile ingredients evaporated in manufacturing need not be declared.

Date marking and storage instructions

Date of minimum durability

The use-by-date shall be declared, where safety and quality cannot be assured beyond a period

Best Before date

Durability not more than three months🡪 Day, Month and Year

Durability more than three months 🡪 Month and Year

The words “Best before’ or ‘Best before end’ should precede date

Placement of best before date

The words should be accompanied by the date itself or reference to where the date is given.

Expression of date

The year shall be declared a two digit numerical representation is adequate when the first three letters of the month is used. 

Example: JAN 08

A four digit representation example 2008, when the two digital numerical representation of the month is used 

Example: 01 2008

Date marking exceptions

The durability date is not required in the following cases:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables which have not been treated, 
  • Wines and beverages containing 10% or more by volume of alcohol, 
  • Bakers’ or pastry cooks’ wares, 
  • Vinegar, 
  • Food grade salt, 
  • Solid sugar,
  • Confectionery products consisting of flavored and or colored sugars 
  • Chewing-gum, 
  • Spices


Instructions for use, where applicable, shall be included on the label.

Other requirements

If a product or its ingredients are described as organic they shall have an indication referring to organic production methods.  Organically produced food shall be certified by a competent authority like the Ministry of Agriculture or organic certification body. Foods containing more than 0.9% GMOs shall be labeled.

Optional Labeling

Any information or pictures used as graphic material shall be displayed, provided that it is not in conflict with the standard. If grade designations are used they should be understood and not be misleading. Where nutritional claims are given it should comply with the requirements of nutrition claims stated in Annex D.

Presentation of information

Labels shall be applied so that they shall not become separated from the container. It shall be clear, prominent and legible under normal conditions. If the container is covered by a wrapper, the wrapper shall have the necessary information. The name and net content shall appear on the main panel.

Main Panel

The main panel is the surface area you are able to see while walking down the store aisle.


Prohibited Claims

The following is prohibited:

  • Claims stating that a food will provide an adequate source of all essential nutrients except with scientific proof
  • Claims which imply a balanced diet cannot supply adequate amounts of nutrients
  • Claims which cannot be substantiated
  • Claims which speak to the prevention treatment or cure of a disease unless scientific proof is given
  • Claims which create doubt about the safety of similar foods

Conditional Claims

Terms such as natural, pure, fresh, homemade, organically grown, shall only be used when the product satisfies the definitions for these terms. Religious or ritual preparation of a food is permitted, provided that the food conforms to the requirements of the appropriate religious or ritual authorities, such as halal.

Prohibited Claims

Shall not be presented in a manner that is deceptive, or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character. Shall not be described in such a manner to cause confusion with another product or to lead the consumer to suppose that the food is connected with another product. Claims made for a food shall comply with the requirements for the use of claims.

Packaging for Honey

Food grade containers that secure the integrity and safety of the product. Hygienically clean, acid resistant lacquered metal containers or any other suitable material (glass suitable plastic). The screwed caps for the glass containers shall be of non-corrosive and nonreactive.

Honey designation

By the name of the geographical or topographical region. Filtered honey – filtered to remove significant amount of pollen.

Designation according to comb removal

  1. extracted honey – obtained by centrifuging decapped broodless combs;
  2. pressed honey – obtained by pressing broodless combs;
  3. drained honey – obtained by draining decapped broodless combs.

Designation according to style

  1. honey which is honey in liquid or crystalline state or a mixture of the two;
  2. comb honey which is honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly built broodless combs and which is sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs;
  3. cut comb in honey or chunk honey which is honey containing one or more pieces of comb honey.

Pre-Packaged Goods label

  • Common name- Beeswax
  • Manufacturers info-name and business address
  • Country of origin
  • Net contents (grams/kilograms)

Beeswax label

  • Expiration date – not required
  • Ingredients – Not require if pure
  • Lot/Batch number