Apiculture

Large scale mānuka investment a first for New Zealand

[19 November/The Country] Comvita has partnered with rural investment company MyFarm to offer New Zealanders the opportunity to own an interest in an mānuka plantation. MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters said the collaboration was the first large scale mānuka investment of its kind in New Zealand and it will increase export returns from high value...

High-tech solution to combat mānuka honey counterfeiters

[8 November/NZ Herald] Honey counterfeiters are posing a major threat to New Zealand’s international reputation, says one manufacturer which has come up with a high-tech solution. Midlands Apiaries says it is using more complex packaging materials and manufacturing processes for its Puriti mānuka honey brand with the goal of making it more difficult for others...

Auckland honey exporter fined $26,000 for making false claims

[2 November/The Country] Jonathan Paul Towers has been fined $26,300 for offences under the Food Act and the Animal Products Act. The two charges related to making false therapeutic claims about honey and failing to ensure that he was registered exporter. An investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries found that Mr Towers had exported...

Apiculture NZ ‘tweaks’ honey levy move

[24 October/The Country] Apiculture New Zealand has adjusted its proposal to introduce a commodity levy on honey following industry consultation. According to Apiculture New Zealand Board Member, Russell Marsh, the move to introduce the levy was the most important step the industry had taken in years. He added the New Zealand honey industry was the...

Beeswax wrapper gives away wildflower seeds for fatter happier bees

[2 October/The Country] Ruapehu District Council Waste Minimisation Educator, Emily Jasmine, wanted to help bees in the district. She ran a workshop to make environmentally friendly beeswax wraps. It was so successful, she felt that she had to help the bees make the wax. She said bees needed to consume 3kg of honey to produce...

Southeast Asian company offers to buy Manuka Health

[28 September/Stuff] A Southeast Asian company offered to buy for an undisclosed amount. It would be subject to Overseas Investment Office approval. Its CEO, John Kippenberger, said there was speculation the price was over $200 million, but would not confirm the actual figure. The buyer was the Hong Leong Group from Malaysia, however Mr Kippenberger...

Could Irish honey rival our own liquid gold?

[6 September/Stuff] According to Irish researchers, heather honey could be as good for you as manuka, however Kiwi producers weren’t accepting the claims. Manuka honey was known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also had an ability to heal wounds, aid digestion, and keep skin smooth. A study by Dublin City University suggested...

Manuka honey causing legal problems in the US

[28 August/Stuff] There has been an unexpected increase in food crime in the first half of 2018. One incident involved USD98,000 worth of ramen noodles being stolen, in Chile a drought caused avocado related crimes. Theft of avocados was also a problem in New Zealand. This had led to the installation of alarm systems in...

Poor harvest affects Comvita annual result

[22 August/The Country] Manuka honey grower and exporter, Comvita, experienced a second poor annual harvest which resulted in a 16 percent decline in after tax profit. A third poor harvest was not being ruled out, however Comvita held a positive outlook. Comvita shares are down over 30 percent since the start of the year. Comvita...

Manuka honey seller warns of ‘loopholes’ in industry

[12 August/Rural NZ] Ashburton honey seller, Puriti, has warned that some people buying manuka honey in New Zealand were getting a raw deal. The Ministry for Primary Industries was seeking feedback on whether to extend the export grade standard to manuka honey sold locally. It wanted to protect the reputation of export grade manuka honey,...

Comvita silent over Manuka Health bid

[31 July/NZ Herald] Comvita declined to comment on whether it was interested in making a bid for Manuka Honey New Zealand. Manuka Health was put on the market six weeks ago for more than AUD200 million. A Comvita spokeswoman said it was unable to comment on its interest or potential acquisitions without first updating the...

Feedback sought on manuka honey rules for NZ

[26 July/The Country] Manuka honey producers and consumers were urged to contribute their thoughts on whether strict requirements for manuka honey exporters should be applied to honey produced and sold in New Zealand. A scientific definition for New Zealand manuka honey was introduced for exported honey last December. The aim was to safeguard the industry...

Honey industry like ‘wild west’, minister says

[26 July/Radio NZ] According to Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, the honey industry was operating like the wild west. He said some apiaries were being over-stocked due to commercial opportunities which left bees hungry and affected hive health. He added the industry needed to cooperate properly on core issues. He noted that if apiarists thought they...

Beekeepers smarting over proposed ‘tax on honey’

[25 July/Stuff] Apiculture New Zealand has the proposed the introduction of a compulsory industry levy. Some in the industry fear it could put smaller operators out of business. President of New Zealand Beekeeping, Russell Berry, said his company would have to pay about $100,000 a year. Apiculture New Zealand proposed a levy of 10 cents...

Battle to protect manuka honey to cost $5.5m

[13 June/Radio NZ] The battle to protect New Zealand’s manuka honey industry from international competitors was expected to cost $5.5 million over 10 years. An industry group said the best way to defend New Zealand’s manuka product would be to trade mark the term and then fight for a Geographical Indication. The honey was used...

Demand for seedlings stun manuka farming group

[3 June/Stuff] A free manuka seedling offer was so popular it was almost 200 percent oversubscribed. Manuka Farming New Zealand offered 1.8 million seedlings to landowners. Applications had been made for 5.2 million. MFNZ General Manager, Stephen Lee, said interest was overwhelming and they had the task of assessing potential plantations from Northland to Te...

Poor seasons hit Comvita earnings

[25 May/Otago Daily Times] According to Craigs Investment Partners, Comvita would take another two years to reach its $400 million sales target after two poor seasons in a row. It downgraded its recommendation from buy to hold. Comvita lowered its forecasted annual earnings due to adverse weather. The stock price fell sharply since Comvita said...

Comvita share price dives after sale falls through

[21 May/The Country] Comvita’s share price fell sharply after talks with a potential buyer fell through. Harbour Asset Management Portfolio Manager, Shane Solly, questioned if after two tough harvest periods, the company could keep up the rate of growth investors were used to. The company announced it was in talks with a third party, whilst...

New Zealand river water quality high fresh data shows, but still room for improvement

[16 April/The Country] River water quality around New Zealand has improved over the last decade according to recently released data. The National Water Quality Trends data released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa gives data on 1500 freshwater sites that are regularly monitored for water quality. Cawthron Institute Freshwater Group Ecologist, Dr Roger Young, said the...

Potential remains to grow honey industry, says Apiculture CEO

[29 March/The Country] Apiculture New Zealand CEO, Karin Kos, said the growth of the manuka honey industry was slowing, but there was potential for more. Of the 8,000 beekeepers in New Zealand, 5,800 were hobbyists owning 10 hives or less. There was an 11 percent growth in hive numbers last year. Ms Kos added that...

Watson & Son plans restructure as sales head exits

[22 March/National Business Review] Honey firm Watson & Son is reported to be consulting on a restructure under the full ownership of Ngai Tahu, meaning staff might need to reapply for the jobs. The Iwi said it would buy out Watson & Son founder Denis Watson, following on from the half share of the company...

Another victory in case for mānuka’s NZ origin

[22 March/Radio NZ] The Mānuka Honey Appellation Society has certified the term ‘mānuka honey’ in New Zealand. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand accepted the term and said the certification meant it would differentiate New Zealand’s honey from other countries such as Australia. The society’s spokesperson, John Rawcliffe, emphasised the result was a step...

Bee wax alternative food wrap a hit in Hawke’s Bay

 [17 March/The Country] LilyBee Wrap co-founders Stacia Jensen and Miko Hayashi started the company about 18 months ago to make reusable fabric wraps dipped in beeswax in efforts to stop using plastic food-wrap. They came up with the idea from researching traditional wrappings before plastic wrapping was common. Mr Hayashi said they started out selling...

Mānuka battle: Federal funding for Australian campaign

[15 March/Radio NZ] The recently established Australian Manuka Honey Association was given $165,000 to push, promote and market its honey. John Rawcliffe from the Mānuka Honey Appellation Society wanted to stop Australia from profiting on New Zealand mānuka honey market and questioned why the federal government was helping to fund this. He emphasised that the...