[7 July/ Rural News Group]

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has extended time to review submissions to its consultation on the definition of Manuka honey. The number and complexity of submissions have caused the Ministry to add six to eight weeks into the process to ensure all feedback is thoroughly reviewed. The Government has released a scientific definition for manuka honey to safeguard the authenticity of the products that New Zealand exports. MPI Director Systems Audit, Assurance and Monitoring Allan Kinsella said they had received an abundance of helpful feedback from beekeepers and honey producers and the public. Mr Kinsella said 120 formal submissions were received, with many detailed and technical due to the scientific nature of the proposals, and the Ministry will thoroughly review them. Mr Kinsella added the process is too important to rush as NZ’s reputation for honey production and export rests on product integrity and the system credibility.