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Stellenbosch University (2021)

An analysis of eco-labelled honey practices employed in the South African beekeeping industry : implications for agricultural sustainability

Hendricks, Lindi Leela

Titre : An analysis of eco-labelled honey practices employed in the South African beekeeping industry : implications for agricultural sustainability

Auteur : Hendricks, Lindi Leela

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 2021

Résumé
This thesis presents a novel area of research for agricultural sustainability in South Africa, within the field of Geography and Environmental Studies. Previous studies on eco-labels in South Africa focussed on the commercial aspects such as the consumer understanding and perceptions (Stausebach, 2016 ; Struwig and Adendorff, 2018) and its application in ecotourism (Pieterse, 2004), rather than the primary sector activities associated with it such as beekeeping. The application of eco-labels in viticulture for biodiversity (Bridgman, 2009) was among the only other sampled literature in the agricultural sector of South Africa, highlighting a gap for further research. Eco-labels serve as a marketing tool to consumers, based on the environmental considerations and performance of a product. For this study they were employed as a measure to determine its efficacy for agricultural sustainability in the beekeeping industry (apiculture) in South Africa. Beekeepers across the country participated in this study to share insight on their harvesting techniques. Their responses provided in the interviews and survey conducted, assisted with understanding how eco-labelled honey is implemented in the beekeeping industry in South Africa. These eco-labels included “Badger- Friendly”, “Fairtrade”, “Pure”, “Organic”, “Raw”, “Monofloral”, “Wild Honey” as well as the “Mobius Loop”. Based on a comparative analysis of the eco-label requirements as per the literature review in contrast to the results of the study, it indicated that there are some misconceptions and subsequent misuse of the eco-labels by industry role-players. The ecolabels were either not fully understood or adhered to accordingly. This highlights that further studies are warranted to raise the level of awareness for agricultural sustainability, in the hope of instituting environmental policy changes and reform to this sector.

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