Please note that this webinar took place on 19 January 2022 at 15:30 GMT. Following the webinar further information has been added to this page to address questions and comments that arose during the webinar.

Further information

Thank you for your interest in this webinar on the Global Honey Supply Chain which was well attended by industry experts and other stakeholders. We’d like to thank attendees for their input, and we will reflect on the comments made and consider them as part of our ongoing dialogue on honey authenticity issues.

This webinar and the consequent e-seminar is part of a suite of activities Defra, FSA, FSS and the Government Chemist are jointly working on to address some of the underpinning scientific issues that have emerged on the subject of honey testing and a number of workstreams are in progress.

Two further e-seminars, which will assist in disseminating information on honey authenticity testing, are in production. These cover using NMR testing for the determination of exogenous sugars in honey and best practice in establishing and curating databases for food authenticity. Work is also underway to develop guidance on applying a weight of evidence approach for food authenticity analysis, to pilot accreditation of non-targeted authenticity testing methods, to improve consistency and confidence in testing and reporting and to explore a data trust framework to share information on the honey supply chain and testing between interested communities. This will be followed by activity to standardise a protocol for the collection of authentic honey samples and to establish a framework for the scrutiny of authenticity databases. We are collaborating with key stakeholders on all these initiatives to secure the best outcome for all.

FSA’s blog on the complexities of honey authenticity, includes links to the recently published Government Chemist independent review of methods for honey authenticity testing and of the analytical reports underpinning recent allegations of honey fraud.

Watch the webinar:

The Global Honey Supply Chain


Honey supply presentation by Michelle McQuillan (PDF, 679 KB, 13 pages)

The slides from Cathal Henigan’s presentation form the basis of this e-seminar.

Webinar information (please note that the webinar already took place)

During this webinar Michelle McQuillan, Team Leader of the Food Compositional Standards team, Defra will give an overview of standards and regulations governing the production and composition of honey. Cathal Henigan, Purchasing Director at Valeo Foods, will explain the complexity of the global honey supply chain and provide an overview of the process of honey production, from the honeybee and beekeeper to the packer and retailer. He will also highlight areas of supply chain vulnerability to food fraud.

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session chaired by Selvarani Elahi MBE.

This event is intended for individuals currently working within the honey authenticity testing arena, the food industry and those involved with the UK official control system

This is the third webinar in the Quarterly Webinar Series of the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis, which is a cross-government project (funded by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and the Government Chemist) aimed at disseminating knowledge from government funded research to stakeholders to support UK laboratory capability and promote best practice in food safety and standards analysis.


Cathal Henigan, Procurement Director, Valeo Foods, UK

Cathal has been in the food industry for 30 years with a focus on procurement and supply chain. For the last 20 years he has worked as Procurement Director at Kerry Foods, Wellness Foods and Valeo Foods UK. Rowse Honey which is the UK’s leading honey packer was latterly a subsidiary of Wellness Foods and now of Valeo Foods UK. Cathal has had direct responsibility for the procurement/supply chain of honey in Rowse for 12 years. He became Chairman of BHIPA (British Honey Importers and Packers Association) in 2016 and has held that position since, representing the association at national and EU level.

Michelle Mcquillan, Team Leader of the Food Compositional Standards team, Defra

Michelle is Team Leader of the Food Compositional Standards team in Defra’s Agri-Food Chain Directorate. She has a PhD in chemistry and has been a civil servant for over 25 years. She’s had various roles across the food area in Defra, the FSA and MAFF. Currently she is responsible for policy on specific foodstuffs of which honey is one. Michelle was involved in the negotiations on the Honey Directive in 2001 including its most recent amendment in 2014. She was also involved in the development of the international Codex Honey Standard.

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    Webinar: The Global Honey Supply Chain

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