October 6, 2008

Wholesome Sweeteners Introduces the FIRST Fair Trade Certified(TM) Organic Honey to the USA

Wholesome Sweeteners, the nation's leader in Fair Trade Certified(TM) organic and natural sweeteners, has introduced the first-ever Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey in the U.S. market. The company also announced that its Fair Trade programs have netted more than $1 million in additional revenues for its Fair Trade Certified partners, supporting their efforts to earn a living wage.

The honeys are collected traditionally by Mayan beekeepers in Chiapas and the Yucatan, Mexico. Wholesome pays a fair price directly to the beekeepers, who have formed vibrant worker-owned cooperatives which create meaningful employment, improve product quality, and send their children to school -- until now, an unaffordable luxury in the economically-depressed regions. Additionally, by protecting the hives and native plant forage areas, Fair Trade encourages biodiversity and helps the forests thrive.

"We discovered that the Yucatan and Chiapas, areas embroiled in serious labor unrest just a few years ago, produce truly superior honey," said Pauline McKee, Wholesome Sweeteners' vice president of Marketing. "With the Fair Trade program, we are able to create business opportunities and a new sense of stability. The beekeepers are able to improve standards for their families, their communities and their honey, and protect precious rainforests and habitat."

The Organic Honey

The multi-floral honey is collected from hives isolated deep within southern Mexico's rainforests and designated organic agricultural zones. The bees forage only on wildflowers and, for one brief week every year, organically cultivated coffee blooms. As the season progresses and the flowers change, the honeys' character changes too, deepening in color and flavor. Although the Mayans have a centuries-old beekeeping tradition, honey production has only recently been recognized as a viable and stable income opportunity in the global market.

Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Honey comes in two delicious flavors:

 --  Amber Honey - a rich nectar with warm caramel notes, perfect in     beverages, baking, for glazing chicken and drizzled on fresh fruit or hot     toast. --  Raw Honey - a thick creamy honey with a butterscotch essence; perfect     spread on warm biscuits, in herby salad dressings or with yogurt and hard     cheeses. This luscious organic honey is not heated above 110 degreesF to maintain     the nectar's natural properties.      

"We are delighted that Wholesome Sweeteners continues to take a leadership role by establishing Fair Trade Certified Organic Honey," said TransFair USA CEO Paul Rice. "Wholesome Sweeteners is helping consumers make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of family farmers."

Wholesome Sweeteners will be presenting the new honey line at this year's Natural Products Expo East in Boston, MA, from October 16-18 at Booth 2148.

Million-Dollar Milestone

In honor of October's Fair Trade month, Wholesome Sweeteners is extremely proud to announce a huge milestone -- since 2005, its Fair Trade Certified programs have raised more than $1 million in additional income for the sugar cane farmers and beekeepers it works with in Malawi, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Mexico. The program is a collaborative effort involving farmers and cooperatives, TransFair USA and the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation, importers and consumers.

Fair Trade Certified is Wholesome's guarantee that the farmers' cooperatives that supply Wholesome's sugar are paid fairly and directly. It means that growers can compete with factory farms, send their kids to school, develop the quality of their crops, practice sustainable agriculture, and build thriving communities.

In addition to retail packages sold in grocery and gourmet stores, Fair Trade Certified sugar is used by food manufacturers in ice cream; cereals; chocolate; ready-to-drink teas, coffees, juices, and sodas; baking mixes, brownies, jams and preserves; and even in sugar body scrubs (exfoliants).

"With the introduction of Fair Trade Certified organic honey in the United States, Wholesome Sweeteners has enabled countless new Fair Trade Certified products," said Cate Baril, director of business development for grocery and ingredients for TransFairUSA. "Their commitment to Fair Trade Certified has empowered manufacturers and consumers to choose ingredients that help make a better life for farmers in the developing world."

For more information and retail locations, please visit www.OrganicSugars.biz

 For photos and logos, please use the ftp site: User: WholeSweet (case sensitive) Pw: WholeSweeT (case sensitive) Folder: Fair Trade Honey Media 

About Wholesome Sweeteners

Wholesome Sweeteners brings the very best of nature's sweetness to you and your family every day. Wholesome believes in traditional ways, artisanal products and a very light footprint. After searching the world for the best products, Wholesome has focused on the tropics, where the climate and conditions are just right for growing organic cane, organic agave, and for supporting bees who forage only on pesticide-free native plants in tropical rainforests. Wholesome is also committed to the farmers and beekeepers that produce these products. We pioneered Fair Trade Certified sugars, molasses and honey, bringing the first Fair Trade Certified sweeteners to North American markets. With glittering Fair Trade Certified organic and natural sweeteners from Central and South America and Africa, we're committed to making the world a sweeter place, one spoonful at a time.

 Editorial Contact: Susan Coss Straus Communications 415-377-8665 [email protected]

SOURCE: Wholesome Sweeteners