Apiculture

Comvita beats earnings guidance, upbeat about FY18

[22 August/The Country] Natural health products company, Comvita, saw its shares jump 10% after it beat full year guidance and said it expects to return to profit in the current financial year. The company which uses Manuka honey a core ingredient, reported an after tax operating loss of $5.5 million for the year to June...

Those trying to define what makes NZ’s manuka honey special struggle to agree

[4 August/ Stuff] Comvita has proposed a manuka honey definition, as the bee industry attempts to develop a standard to ensure the product is not fraudulent. The Ministry for Primary Industries is creating a definition among competing industry claims over the best method to determine real honey. This comes after claims that consumers are being...

Manuka honey definition timeframe extended

[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...

Australian honey challenge to NZ Mānuka

[27 June/ Radio NZ] Australian scientists have developed a process for authenticating a West Australian honey from the state’s jarrah and marri trees as having medicinal properties to rival mānuka. The scientists said their Western Australian honey has higher levels of antimicrobial activity than New Zealand Mānuka honey, and they plan to put it on...

Comvita says manuka at low risk from myrtle rust

[29 June/ Stuff] Comvita has said Myrtle rust does not pose a large risk to the multi-million dollar mānuka honey industry and was reassured by the way the disease had not damaged equivalent plants in Australia, especially in Tasmania. In 2016, the honey industry made $315 million in exports, mostly from mānuka. The industry has...

‘From NZ’ bee pollen seller stung with $500,000 fine

[19 May/ Radio NZ] A health supplement company, Topline International – which sold pollen under the NatureBee brand, claimed its China-made bee pollen was a product of New Zealand, and has been ordered to pay a $500,000 fine after being brought to court by the Commerce Commission. Topline had been taking advantage of New Zealand’s...

New tests confirm New Zealand manuka honey is for real

 [17 May/ Stuff] Two new tests confirming whether New Zealand mānuka honey is the real deal have been released by Hills Laboratories, giving consumers greater confidence that they are buying genuine mānuka honey. The tests come after claims that unethical operators were profiting from sales of fake mānuka honey at largely inflated prices. The Ministry...

Comvita shares slump 9.4pc on Deutsche Bank downgrade, news of Myrtle Rust

 [5 May/ New Zealand Herald] Comvita shares decreased 9.4 percent due to investment analysts cutting their valuation for the mānuka honey products company. The shares fell as low as $6.07 in early trading last Friday, a record low since January 23, and recently decreased to $6.25 after Deutsche Bank decreased its stock price target to...

Beekeepers struggle to get unstuck from mānuka red tape

 [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...

Comvita adds to growing list of earnings woes

[5 April/ NZ Herald] After honey maker Comvita fell short of market expectations and announced it was likely to fall into operating loss in the current financial year, investors have left the brand. The company attributes the loss to a poor harvest and trouble in the unofficial daigou trade channels with China, expecting to bring...

New Zealand manuka honey favourite in Asia

[2 April/ Stuff] 100% Pure New Zealand Honey boasts a stronger presence in Asian markets than western markets due to the importance Asian consumers place on preventive medicine. Chief executive Sean Goodwin commented on the difficulty of selling manuka honey in China as low regulations mean other honey types are passed off as manuka. The...

Millions of Manuka seedlings released to boost honey industry

[8 March/ Stuff] Landowners are being offered high performance Manuka seedlings that could earn up to $4300 per hectare annually. Some predict the honey sector could become a $1.2 billion a year industry by 2028 with the help of wholesale plantings. However, Commercial Manager for Manuka Farming New Zealand, Stephen Lee, said the $4300 figure...

Comvita blames bad honey crop for $7.1m half year loss

 [21 February/ Radio New Zealand] New Zealand’s largest honey producer, Comvita, is blaming China exports and a bad honey crop for the $7.1 million loss it has reported for the half year. Wet, cold and windy conditions at the beginning of the season caused Comvita to decrease its honey production forecast from 974 tonnes to...

Hives on track with BuzzTech

[ 20 February/ The New Zealand Farmers Weekly] IT expert turned beekeeper and BuzzTech director, Julian McCurdy has created a software solution that gives apiarists the option to include high-quality sensors and monitors into their hive colonies, making it easier to track thousands of hives typically spanning hundreds of kilometres. The software creates the potential...

Kiwi exporters face trouble in China

 [17 February/ New Zealand Herald] New Zealand exporters including New Zealand’s biggest honey makers, Comvita and Manuka Health as well as Tasmanian infant formula company Bellamy’s, have seen tough business conditions due to a slowdown of Chinese “daigou” channel. The daigou channel offers manufacturers a “toehold” into the Chinese market and has been extensively utilised...

Queen’s grocer pulls New Zealand manuka honey from shelves

[5 February/ Business Day] Fortnum and Mason, the grocer to the Queen in London, has pulled New Zealand Manuka honey from its shelves when tests showed it had lower than expected levels of the active ingredient, leptosperin.  Food Safety Minister, David Bennett, said that the government was introducing pollen DNA testing on honey exports in...

Beekeepers say honey season ‘worst in 20 years’

 [26 January/ Otago Daily Times] Frustrated beekeepers are calling the summer of 2016/17 the worst season for the industry in 20 years as poor weather has impacted yields as bees have been unable to collect nectar.  Apiculture NZ CEO, Karin Kos, said the unseasonable weather conditions and less predictable and shorter flowering season had absolutely...

Poor honey crop hits Comvita

[Apiculture / NZ Herald] Wet, windy conditions will impact on Comvita’s ability to deliver on its 2017 financial forecast, with the company announcing that anticipated profit would be in the range of $5 to $7 million compared with previous indications of a result consistent with the prior year’s $17 million.  The company had expected to...

Poor summer plays havoc with honey collection

[Apiculture / Business Day: NZ Farmer] Less than ideal summer weather is impacting honey yields as beekeepers face one of their worst ever seasons, although strong inventories carried forward from the previous season might prevent prices from rising.  Wet and windy conditions have impacted the production of all types of honey; strong winds in particular...

Brand sale nets Comvita $19m

 [Apiculture /NZ Herald] Comvita has announced that it has sold its Medihoney brand to Derma Sciences, its US based partner, for $19 million and will reap a further $11 million selling Derma shares into a takeover offer for the Nasdaq listed company.  The sale of the brand includes an upfront payment with an earn out...

Threat to Kiwi manuka industry from the Oz Honey Project

[Apiculture/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Australian beekeepers are buzzing about a plan to challenge New Zealand’s dominance in the active manuka honey market.  Work has been led by researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, who have sought to identify the most potent varieties amongst the more than 80 leptospermum species in Australia.  Work is...

Comvita shares slump as honey products maker tips loss

[27 October/ National Business Review] Comvita shares have fallen by 11 percent after the company announced it could face a loss in the first half of the 2017 financial year. Chief Executive, Scott Coulter said the probable loss was due to a decline in sales out of Australasia since China cracked down on grey market...

Comvita share placement lifts Chinese investor’s stake to 9%

 [24 October/ National Business Review] Comvita has placed 2 million shares with China Resources Ng Fung, increasing the Chinese food giant’s stake from less than 5 percent to around 9 percent. Comvita said in a statement that the move would strengthen working capital and provide funding to support strategic initiatives currently under consideration. The deal...

Buzzing sector faces barriers

 [6 October/ NZ Herald] Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Paul said New Zealand’s honey industry was in good health, with hive numbers increasing to almost 700,000. Mr Paul explained that the main reason for growth in the industry was the high price of Manuka honey. A Ministry for Primary Industries report showed that...