FACILITY HERALDS SWEET SUCCESS
A new honey processing facility in Baldivis was abuzz last week, with its official launch heralding a new era for the local industry.
Stephen Davies of Davies Apiaries was on hand to oversee the first pour of honey at the $2.5 million processing centre.
While the facility has been operating since May, the official launch gave industry insiders and stakeholders the chance to tour the King Road processing centre.
Mr Davies, a third-generation bee farmer, is one of the largest honey producers in the State and has seen the business grow to operate more than 1000 hives.
He said the industry had undergone major changes in his 17 years of beekeeping.
“It once was as simple as taking a caravan out to the bush and extracting your honey into a big drum, but now it’s become a lot more advanced,” he said.
“We don’t just produce honey. Our business is quite diversified and we’ve made a deliberate point of moving away from just being a bulk producer.
“The next level for us is to take our honey to market and that’s what this facility is for.”
Mr Davies said he had the confidence to invest in the facility, opened on Friday by Deputy Premier Roger Cook, given the benefits of a new $1.1 million internationally recognised certification system for WA monofloral honey.
The new certification comes after three years of effort, jointly funded by the WA honey industry and former State Government, and working closely with ChemCentre, a leading provider of certification services.
Health Minister Roger Cook said Davies Apiaries was leading the charge for premium producers internationally.
West Australian honey is considered among the best in the world and is in high demand in emerging global markets, especially Asia.
Baldivis honey producer Stephen Davies at the new Davies Apiaries facility.