The Certified Kentucky Honey Producers (CKHP) program is the marketing brand of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA). We promote and certify the purchase of honey produced, harvested, extracted, and bottled with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Certified Kentucky Honey Producers (CKHP) program was established in 2019 to help consumers be more confident in the food they consume by knowing it is authentic Kentucky honey. The program also helps Kentucky honey producers promote their products, so you know you are supporting Kentucky farmers.
Honey is the third most adulterated food in the world, just behind milk and olive oil, and according to the National Honey Board, ensuring honey authenticity is one of the greatest challenges facing the honey industry today. In the United States we consume over 400 million pounds of honey annually, however we only produce about 150 million pounds, which means the demand for imported honey is strong. This deficit creates problems for assuring authenticity and safety. Imported honey has been shown to be adulterated with other sugars such as rice syrup and even contaminated with chemicals such as the antibiotic chloramphenicol.
But what about Kentucky Proud? Kentucky Proud serves a wide range of agricultural products across the Commonwealth, but the requirements are not as strict. Unfortunately, the only requirement for honey to carry the Kentucky Proud label is that some part of the process is done in Kentucky – for honey, this could be that it is only bottled in Kentucky. This leads to some retailers purchasing cheaper imported honey in bulk, bottling it here in Kentucky, and then labeling it with a Kentucky Proud logo and selling it to you, the consumer, as “local” honey.
The primary intent of the CKHP program is to promote truth in labeling and help Kentucky Beekeepers market their honey to conscientious consumers. In addition to ensuring CKHP honey is a true product of the state of Kentucky, our program also focuses on the following:
All beekeepers within the state of Kentucky are eligible for certification by submitting an application and paying the applicable annual dues. Membership in the CKHP program also includes membership in KSBA with full rights and privileges. Please direct any questions about the application process to the CKHP Manager.
The CKHP program is currently funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF). Our current grant operating budget is $106,000 (detailed budget available here) and runs through December 2024. These funds help to ensure the following but not limited to
If You Suspect Honey Is Mislabeled
The Certified Kentucky Honey Producers (CKHP) program is a voluntary marketing organization under the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA). CKHP certifies that honey using the Certified Honey Label is produced within Kentucky. This certification is through hive location verification and laboratory testing of the honey (pollen testing as well as DNA, NMR, and other methods by local and national labs).
In collaboration with the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board for the advancement of the CKHP program, the CKHP Program Manager works with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS) if there is any reason to question labelling or marketing of CKHP honey. Please note, that while the Program Manager will work with the KCHFS on any questions of a member’s honey, it must be addressed by the KCHFS who has sole authority and oversight for honey labelling violations.
We do encourage you to have discussions with your legislators and KDA representatives on the importance of truth in labelling regarding honey and hive products as we cannot take liability to test honey that is not CKHP certified to prove it is NOT Kentucky honey.
R. Scott Moore is the current Program Manager for the Certified Kentucky Producers, the marketing brand of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association. Coming to the position in February 2021, he manages grant funding from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund, creates marketing material for promotion and organizes marketing events for members connecting buy local consumers with local Kentucky honey. Scott became interested in beekeeping, specifically the health benefits of local honey, after battling Stage III Sarcoma cancer in 2016. He has now been beekeeping for over five (5) years and lives in Jefferson County with his wife where they enjoy spending time with their four grandsons.
R. Scott Moore
P.O. Box 22283
Louisville, KY 40252