Rules and Regulations for the Sale of Honey in Michigan

LANSING EAST, MI. – Many Michigan beekeepers have questions about the rules and regulations regarding the processing and sale of honey and honey products. Starting and Keeping Bees in Michigan: Rules and Regulations from Michigan State University Extension is a comprehensive guide for beekeepers.

Some of the common questions discussed in the guide regarding processing and selling honey and honey products include:

• What are the rules for processing honey?

• Can I sell honey directly to people?

• Can I sell honey in stores?

• How do I label my honey-based products?

• Can I use the word “organic” on my label?

Below are the answers to these common questions, although we encourage you to review the Starting and Raising Bee in Michigan: Rules and Regulations for more details and important information on other topics.

Honey processing rules

The sale of pure honey does not fall under the Michigan Cottage Food Law. The amount of your honey sales determines the rules you must follow. Generally, gross sales of less than $ 15,000 are exempt from licensing. Those selling $ 15,001 and more in gross sales are required to have one or more food establishment licenses from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for processing and storage, as well as a license to installation for the building / kitchen in which it is produced.

Sell ​​honey

Honey producers are not limited to direct sales like home food producers are. They can wholesale their products to grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers, as long as their packaging is properly labeled.

Before you sell your honey, you need to determine whether your facility should be licensed on a gross sales basis. If you need a processing license, you will need a label that meets state labeling guidelines. See the licensing information above and the labeling information below in this article.

Honey labeling

For pure one-ingredient honey, your labeling guidelines are also based on your total gross sales. For those who sell $ 15,000 or less in a year, you need the following items on your label:

Company Name ;

Manufacturing address;

Standard identity of the product, such as honey if there is only one ingredient;

Net weight;

And the warning “Processed at a facility not inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.”

For those with annual sales of $ 15,001 or more, you must follow MDARD labeling guidelines. If you are adding something to pure honey, there are additional rules that can be found in the document referenced at the beginning of the article.

Nutrition facts on labels

You don’t have to have a Nutrition Facts label unless you’re making nutrition claims or selling more than 100,000 units. However, stores may require a Nutrition Facts label on products sold.

Put organic on the label

You can only do this if you are a certified organic farm. Read more about this for more information on the rules and regulations.

The MSU Extension Starting and Keeping Bees in Michigan: Rules and Regulations is a comprehensive guide for beekeepers that will answer the above questions and more.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center help entrepreneurs and businesses develop products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-to-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in MSU Product Center business advice, please visit our website at

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