Firestone, Colo., April 17, 2013 – Several new Board members and alternates appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last December attended the National Honey Board’s (NHB) first meeting of the year on April 9-10 in San Diego, California. Pictured here (from left to right) are Kimberly Coy, Marketing Specialist, USDA/AMS; Jill Clark, first handler member; Nicholas Sargeantson, importer alternate; and George Hansen, producer member. Following a brief orientation of the duties and responsibilities for Board members, the new appointees were welcomed and sworn in by Coy. Sargeantson stood in for Board member Charles Kocot, who was unable to attend the meeting.
During the meeting, the Board reviewed and accepted the 2012 audited financial statements and report, reviewed marketing plans for 2013, and heard a report on the 2013 market research honey Use & Attitude study conducted by the research team at Ketchum public relations agency. By unanimous vote, the Board also re-elected the current officers to another one-year term. The returning officers include Brent Barkman, Chairperson; Mark Mammen, Vice-Chairperson; and Nancy J. Gamber-Olcott, Secretary/Treasurer.
The NHB has ten Board members, composed of three first handler representatives, two importer representatives, one importer-handler representative, three producer representatives, and one marketing cooperative representative.
The importer-handler representative must import at least 75 percent of the honey or honey products they market in the U.S. and handle at least 250,000 pounds annually. The producer representatives must produce a minimum of 150,000 pounds of honey in the U.S. annually, based on the best three-year average of the most recent five calendar years. The marketing cooperative representative has always been from Sioux Honey Association. In recent years the producer representatives have included presidents of the American Beekeeping Federation, as well as the American Honey Producers Association.
A “first handler” is defined as the first person who buys or takes possession of honey or honey products from a producer for marketing. In plain terms, this is usually a honey packer. If a producer markets honey or honey products directly to consumers, that producer is considered to be the first handler with respect to the honey produced by the producer.
Each Board member has an alternate to step in if needed. Each Board member and alternate serve a three-year term or until the Secretary of Agriculture selects his or her successor. Board members and alternates may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
The Board’s marketing efforts are directed to several audiences including general consumers, foodservice (such as restaurant chains, school and hospital cafeterias), food manufacturers and bakers, and Hispanic consumers.
The next meeting of the National Honey Board is scheduled for October 22-23 in Denver, Colorado.