NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9 – Kenyan bee farmers will begin exporting honey to the European market in the next two weeks, following the commissioning of new testing equipment at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
KEBS Managing Director Kioko Mangeli said on Tuesday that the Sh70 million equipment will cover testing of a variety of products like honey, pesticides and herbicides.
Mr Mangeli said KEBS had negotiated with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to use their laboratories for certification purposes “especially because they are involved in honey production…..and of course research”.
Local honey exporters have found it difficult to access the European markets due to issues of traceability and rules of origin.
He noted that as a result of this new investment in certification and standardisation procedures, Kenyan honey producers should access the European market cost free.
Meanwhile the KEBS boss is expressing satisfaction with manufacturers’ conformity to the new KEBS Standard Mark of quality.
“Over 90 percent of manufacturers have conformed and we have over 6000 registered goods,” he observed.
Mr Mangeli noted that the high conformity standards would go a long way in assisting the institution in its fight against the counterfeit scourge.