[13 April/ Radio NZ]

The Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a scientific definition of New Zealand mānuka honey, expected to protect the market from fake products. The definition states honey is New Zealand mānuka honey when four chemicals and a DNA marker are present at a specified level. A six-week consultation period will now begin, with the definition expected to take effect by late July. Some beekeepers said the lengthy process has cost valuable sales, with some businesses such as Honeypai having struggled to find a market for this season’s harvest. Honeypai owner, Craig Salmon said a lot of financial stress could have been mitigated if the ministry had released its definition when production was peaking rather than at a time of honey sales. Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive Karin Kos said short-term costs would be outweighed by the long term benefits the industry would experience as the definition will put New Zealand in a strong market position.