The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The ten-member-Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative.
The NHB, operating under U.S. Department of Agriculture oversight, is not a regulatory agency nor does it have powers of enforcement. The Board is prohibited from using funds to influence legislation or governmental action or policy.
The National Honey Board is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996, and was established under the rules and regulations of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, effective May 2008.
The National Honey Board conducts numerous projects each year to achieve these goals. Here are a few:
- We fund research projects designed to find new and improved uses for honey in foods and other products.
- We offer consumers honey information through recipes and photographs of honey serving ideas that are provided to newspaper and magazine editors across the country.
- The Honey Board provides information for special honey and beekeeping stories that appear in newspapers, the internet, and on radio and television stations.
- We provide honey merchandising materials to honey industry producer-packers, retailers, the foodservice industry and honey handlers. Posters, recipes, a cookbook, stickers, fact sheets… the list goes on and on. For an order form, call the Honey Board office, or download the order form directly from this site.
- We fund research projects to find ways to maintain the health of honeybee colonies.
- We fund programs to educate chefs on the use of honey.
Where Did We Come From?
The Honey Board began in the mid-1980’s when a group of honey producers and other industry representatives got together to discuss a powerful new idea: What would happen if they pooled their resources to work to spread the word about honey? By working together, they theorized, the industry could advertise, conduct research and promote honey in ways that were simply too costly and time-consuming without a cooperative effort. The original National Honey Board was authorized by an Act of Congress and established under the rules and regulations of a subsequent federal Order. The Board began operations in early 1987.
In April of 2008, first handlers and importers of honey and honey products voted to approve a new national honey packers and importers program. The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Operations of the previous Honey Board were picked up by this new program and the name National Honey Board was kept. The board is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996, and was established under the rules and regulations of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order that was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2008. The Board’s programs are administered under USDA supervision.
Interested in serving on the National Honey Board?
If you are interested in being a Board member, please review the HPIB Order (see link on this page) and contact the Board’s Chief Executive Officer Margaret Lombard at (303) 776-2337 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Honey Board must authorize and fund not less than once every five years an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of its plans and programs. The most recent evaluation, Honey Demand and the Impact of the National Honey Board’s Generic Promotion Programs, was made during 2013 and completed March, 2014.