[19 December/NZ Herald]

The Australian Manuka Honey Association says that they will fight the granting of a trademark for Manuka honey to kiwi producers by UK authorities. The Australian’s argue that they have been producing manuka honey naturally since records began in the 1800’s and that given they have been unable to take part in UK trade mark registry conversations their only option is legal action. The UK Trade Mark Registry does not deal with other interested parties until it has decided to allow a trademark but there is a period under legislation for objections and the AMHA plan to do this vigorously given there are 80 Manuka species in Australia. On the other side the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand called the granting of the trademark a landmark decision as the industry looks to protect the term Manuka as being intrinsically intertwined with New Zealand and as a consequence Manuka honey can only come from a single geographic source, being New Zealand.