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Manuka Honey Hui

Press Release – Taitokerau Networks

Northland beekeepers are losing millions from the misclassification of manuka honey. A manuka honey hui is being held this Friday 29th March at Otiria marae, Moerewa where honey industry representatives will meet to discuss a number of issues impacting …Wednesday 27th March 2019

Media Release

Northland beekeepers are losing millions from the misclassification of manuka honey. A manuka honey hui is being held this Friday 29th March at Otiria marae, Moerewa where honey industry representatives will meet to discuss a number of issues impacting on the industry and look at ways of proactively working together.

One of the huge issues facing beekeeping in Northland is the definition of Manuka honey. Consequently, people are keen to share their concerns, frustrations and possible future pathways relating to the regulatory definition of manuka honey.

Led by Taitokerau Miere, a collective of Northland Iwi involved in honey, the aim is to get government to provide as an interim step, a more industry supportive definition.

Recently, government had modified their science definition in a way that excluded 19% of known manuka honey. For Northland this excluded up to 50% of the manuka honey crop. Having high quality manuka honey worth up to $70/kg falsely declared non-manuka by the definition, makes the honey worth as little as $18/kg. The financial losses have resulted in job losses and severe difficulties for most Northland beekeepers and honey companies.

A range of speakers have been organised to address the problems and Ministry of Primary Industry have sent two of their key scientific staff to outline their response. Key notes speakers include John Hill of NZ Manuka Ltd, Terry Braggins from Analytica Laboratories, John Rawcliffe of UMF Association along with beekeeping/industry scientists John Craig and Oksana Borowick.

Pita Tipene, Chair of Ngati Hine Forestry Trust explains “the current definition separates and supports the highest quality manuka and actually eliminates some very high quality manuka. He said that the effect has been catastrophic for Tai Tokerau local beekeeping industry.

A small cluster hui was convened of interested industry and beekeepers on 20 February 2019, for the purpose of continuing to advocate and promote for a return to the real science definition as an interim step until a definition more acceptable to the wider industry can be found.

Richard Kidd of Marshwood Apiaries attended the cluster hui and advises “I employ a number of young men straight from high school and until recently I have been able to offer a career with a strong future. I worry now that the future is uncertain and the ill-defined and somewhat confusing manuka definition has been a large contributor to this.”

There is a considerable degree of urgency required to manage the impact of the definition, as long-term delays will continue to erode the livelihood of a significant number of small to medium beekeepers and honey businesses, while great quantities of false non-manuka honey will continue to be exported with large international companies controlling and dominating the global supply of New Zealand manuka honey in the world market.

The details for the Manuka Honey Summit Hui are as follows:

Otiria Marae, Moerewa

Friday 29th March 2019, 10 am Powhiri

Purpose of the hui:

• Identify and eliminate barriers or issues that impact on the beekeeping industry in Taitokerau – Key issue: the scientific definition of manuka honey

• To grow collaboration between key stakeholders to create scale and greater leverage in the beekeeping industry

ends

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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