The honey R&P program operates as the National Honey Board. The program’s purpose is to expand domestic markets for honey and honey products. Assessments are collected on honey and honey products packed or imported into the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The National Honey Board collects these funds and uses them, under AMS oversight, for research and development, advertising and promotion of honey and honey products, consumer education, and industry information.
The assessment rate is $0.015 per pound and is collected on domestic honey and honey products from first handlers or packers and on imported honey or honey products by the U.S. Deparment of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection. Packers and importers marketing less than 250,000 pounds of honey per year are exempt from paying assessments.
The Board’s budget for the period of January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, is approximately $7.9 million. The program is funded by packers and importers of honey and honey products. The Board conducts generic promotion and market development activities in the United States and reimburses AMS for costs incurred in administering the program.
In May 2008, AMS issued the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Education and Information Order, which created the program under the authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (pdf).
Organization of the National Honey Board
The 20 members of the Board are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The Board consists of three first handlers, two importers, one importer-handler, three producers, and one marketing cooperative representative and their alternates. The Board is located in Firestone, Colorado. You can access a listing of current Board members and alternates on the National Honey Board roster.
Organic Assessment Exemption
R&P programs allow persons that produce, handle, market, process, manufacture, feed or import “organic” and “100 percent organic” products to be exempt from paying assessments regardless of whether they are a “split” operation.