B-QUAL Australia was established by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council in 2002 with the aim that 90% of honey production be quality assured for the domestic and export markets. The program covers apiary operation, honey extraction, honey packing and sales, chemical use, biosecurity, pollination and propolis, royal jelly and queen bee production.
The program is internationally recognised, conducted by industry-trained auditors and is necessary to comply with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Safety Standard. In addition, the requirements of the European Union are also met. The Food Safety Standard requires businesses to develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point based food safety program. The adoption of this program ensures that markets remain open to Australian beekeepers, both commercial and recreational.
B-QUAL certification further benefits businesses through the ability to demonstrate that they are operating in accordance with the expectations of consumers, markets and regulatory authorities in relation to food safety and industry best practice. Certified businesses can signal this through the use of the B-QUAL logo on their product.
Requirements for certification
- Training, which may be completed anywhere
- Development of a quality assurance manual with operating procedures to demonstrate how the business meets the requirements of industry standards
- Maintenance of records that demonstrate that these operating procedures have been followed
- Third-party audit of the quality assurance manual, records and the facilities on an annual or biannual basis