Sioux City, Iowa-based Sue Bee Honey has begun placing “Support the USA Honeybee” seal labels on all its branded products to inform consumers that they are buying 100 percent all-natural American honey and supporting American beekeepers and the role their bees play in pollinating more than $47 billion in American crops.
David Allibone, president of the Sioux Honey Association, which produces Sue Bee Honey, said labels with the new seals, which are about an inch in diameter and red, white and blue, began appearing on store shelves in October. The seal will help answer consumers’ concerns about the quality and safety of the honey they purchase in stores.
“We are very closely related to our suppliers,” Allibone said of the 300 member-owners of the Sioux Honey Association Cooperative, including many who are second- and third-generation beekeepers. “We know where they produce their honey, we know how they produce their honey, we have been receiving their honey for many years, and we have many years’ worth of food safety and quality analysis done on their product, so we have a real good confidence level with honey coming from our membership.”
William Huser, VP of research and development for Sue Bee Honey, said it’s estimated that the honeybee is responsible for pollinating a third of the natural foods in a typical American diet. The consumer who buys USA Grade A honey indirectly supports a significant portion of American agriculture by supporting Sioux Honey Association beekeepers, whose millions of bees pollinate those crops.
Allibone said American consumers are becoming more educated about the importance of honeybees and their role in pollinating the nation’s agricultural output, so it’s important to let them know that by purchasing Sue Bee Honey, they help support the fruit and vegetable industry of the U.S.
Sue Bee Honey is the branded product name for the association, which has production facilities in Sioux City; Elizabethtown, N.C.; and Anaheim, Calif.