Honey Labelling (UK)

Honey Labelling Advice & Guidance (UK)

Not wanting to get into trouble with anyone, I have made sure my labels comply with UK Regulations.

Below is some advice, of the type you see in beekeeping magazines, and I have attached the BBKA advice, Food Standards Agency guidance notes and the Honey Regulations.

General Honey Labelling Advice

  1. The word HONEY is required
  2. The weight must be on the label.  The weight must be metric (and its optional to add it as Imperial as well).  The weight must be net, i.e. not including the glass jar and lid
  3. The minimum height of figures on the label must be as follows: <50g 2mm; 50-200g, 3mm; 200g-1kg, 4mm; >1kg, 6mm
  4. You can specify the area where the honey is produced, e.g., Gloucestershire
  5. You can specify the type of honey, e.g. heather, but the honey must be at least 75% of that type
  6. If you are selling the honey, you must have your name and address on the label. It does not need to be complete but you should be able to be found from the information.
  7. If you are selling the honey through a third party, you must have a lot number (though if your Best Before date specifies day, month and year then a lot number is not required)
  8. You must have a Best Before date on the jar. 2 years from now seems to be pretty standard
  9. You must have a country of origin on the jar, e.g. Produce of England. Just adding the country to the end of your address is not acceptable

The BBKA has produced some honey labelling advice too, please click on this link to download the PDF: BBKA Honey Labelling & Selling Advice.

If you still have any questions after reading all the advice and legals on this page, then best to contact your local Trading Standards Agency.  Follow the link provided and submit your postcode to find contact details.

I highly recommend you read the BBKA advice (link above) and the Food Standards Agency guidance (link below).

Food Standards Agency Guidance Notes On Honey Regulations

These guidance notes make sense of the Honey (England) Regulations of 2003, please click on this link to download the PDF: Food Standards Agency Guidance On The 2003 Honey Regulations.

Honey (England) Regulations 2003

They are called the Honey (England) Regulations 2003 but there is analogous regulation in Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.  Please click on this link to download the PDF: Honey England Regulations 2003

Honey (England) Regulations 2005

Now you are just getting pedantic! The Food Standards Agency guidance note covers the 2003 and 2005 regulations and also clarify that “The Honey (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2005 do not alter the provisions of the 2003 Regulations other than to correct …” a few issues. Please click on this link to download the PDF: The Honey Amendment England Regulations 2005.

Honey (England) Regulations 2015

Please read latest honey regulations:Honey Regulations (England) 2015


Further guidance: FSA – Country Of Origin – Labelling Guidance

If honey is stored in 30lb tubs and needs re-liquefying, warm it to 35C (95F).  This makes sure that enzymes do not get destroyed.

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This page/advice is provided for general interest and information only.  No liability is accepted for any injury or loss arising out of the contents of these pages. This information was correct in 2013.

21 thoughts on “Honey Labelling (UK)”

  1. According to a BBKA document giving advice to markers of their “Module 2” exam, the correct answer to the question “How can honey be marketed” is in any size of jar, provided it is accurately labelled: http://www.bbka.org.uk/files/library/module_2_sample_mark_scheme_1384978281.pdf. I can’t find any reference to the list of prescribed quantities given above (454g etc) in any of the honey regulations, though they do appear on many sites giving advice. Is there really a regulation specifying these sizes?

    1. Thanks for the fact check – you are correct. The “Weights & Measures Act 1985” stipulated that honey, when packed in quantities exceeding 50g may only be packed in prescribed quantities of 57g(2oz), 113g (4oz), 227g (8oz), 340g (12oz), 454g(1lb) or multiples of 454g(1lb). This is no longer the case. So I have updated this page to reflect this.

    2. Roger is correct. There are no longer any stipulated quantity size of containers. As long as the weight markings meet the legal requirements, you can use any size of container

    1. Raw is an Americanism which is being taken up here. It has no weight in British legislation or description. The words ‘Natural’ or ‘Ethical’ would be as meaningful. It simply means unpasteurised, or not filtered so as to remove very small particles or denature the honey. 99.9% of all hobbyist honey in the UK is therefore RAW.

  2. Hi ,can it not say 500 grm on the jar ?,I’m ready to start selling honey but am totally confused about what should be on the label.i suppose like anything else ,it’s plain sailing when you know how ,it’s just having the knowledge to get started I need someone to help me initially.id be grateful for this.my phone number is +44 (0)7796358560

  3. Hi. How about flavoured honey products such as Honey with cinnamon for example? Does these regulations still apply? Do we have to provide for nutrition content and ingredient list?

    1. If anything is added to honey then this would have e.g. Honey with Cinnamon on the label. As this would not be a single ingredient product, food labelling legislation would then require a list of ingredients on the label.

      A late reply but other people may have the same question.

  4. Hello,
    Thank you for the comprehensive advice and links, I have been working my way through it all. I would deeply appreciate clarity on a point:
    I would like to sell a honey that is also blended with glucose syrup and several herbs / spices. Does this mean I cannot use the word ‘Honey’ in the name of the product. It is designed to be an aphrodisiac mix so I wanted to call it ‘Love Honey’.
    Many thanks for any advice.

    1. Part 2 of the Honey Regulations 2015 provides a defined set of prefixes to the word “Honey” and you cannot deviate from that list other than with the name of a floral crop or a geographical area. So you are not permitted to call it “Love Honey”.
      As well as the labeling issue, you cannot add ingredients and still refer to the product as honey.
      You are also not allowed to attribute any medicinal / heath (or even sexual prowess) benefits to any food product without the clinical trials to back it up. To do so would be false advertising and trading standards would step in.
      So I am afraid that the “Love Honey” idea is dead in the water,

  5. Hi My name is Shahir, your website is really helpful.
    I have a question do I have to have my address on the label if I am only selling to friends and family. Also I have no intention of going into shops or any retail outlets. I have the weight and description of Honey and it’s British, but not my address is this a problem? .

    1. if you are not selling the honey then youare not a food business, and theres no requirement to have a label at all!

  6. Hi
    I want to start selling honey that is from outside the uk. It’s natural. Do I need any permission or any testing before labelling? Thanks

  7. Hi there. I am wondering what is required for labelling on flavoured honey coming from Canada? We have the opportunity to sell to the UK; however, I do not want to move forward on this unless our packaging is compliant.

    Also, why is there a best before date requirement on the package when honey does not expire? Wouldn’t that be misleading to consumers? Our products have lot codes for tracing but we do not have best before dates. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    1. you can not add a flavour to honey and still describe it as honey in the uk. please see the Honey Regulations 2015.
      Durability marking is obligatory, but at your discretion. How long is reasonable / sensible bearing in mind the characteristics of the food in question and it’s storage etc.

  8. Even if something never deteriorates eg salt it must still have a Best before date on it. Mad I agree but that is the current regulation.

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