Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - David Sal­vaire

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.

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