9 July 2018
Symposium offers exclusive briefing on Mānuka Honey Appellation Society
Representatives from the honey industry, government and Maori officials recently attended a symposium in Wellington which aimed to provide an exclusive insight into the workings of the Mānuka Honey Appellation Society (MHAS).
A key theme of the symposium was the Society’s progress with its international efforts to protect the term ‘Mānuka Honey’ for New Zealanders.
Keynote speakers included: Sir Wira Gardiner; UMFHA Administrator John Rawcliffe; Independent Chair of the UMFHA and MHAS Peter Luxton; Ngati Porou Miere Limited Partnership Managing Director Victor Goldsmith; Business Advisor John Hill; Buddle Findlay Partner Patent Attorney John Glengarry; Advisor to the UMFHA and MHAS on intellectual property Ian Fletcher; and Oritain Global Ltd, Science Commercialisation Director Sam Lind.
MHAS Spokesperson John Rawcliffe says the Society currently has certification trademark applications underway in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“We are also in the process of applying for similar certification trade marks in other territories including China, USA and EU, and exploring the establishment of Geographic Indications in our main markets.”
With eight other countries currently planting Leptospermum scoparium combined with other influencing factors that are undermining the value of genuine Mānuka Honey from New Zealand, John says the need to protect the term Mānuka Honey is growing increasingly urgent.
“We’re seeing honeys derived from any Leptospermum plant being sold as Mānuka Honey. This is akin to saying all citrus fruits are lemons. There are incorrect and misleading correlations being used to promote honey, and the extensive use overseas of the terms total activity, active, NPA and other claims that are not permitted in New Zealand.”
Since Mānuka Honey was registered for medical use in the UK in 2000, sales of the product have grown exponentially. Last year, 4,800 tons of Mānuka Honey were exported from New Zealand at an average price of around $58 per kilogram. The Ministry for Primary Industries has stated that it has a target goal of $1.2 billion of export sales by 2028. It aims to achieve this through many ways including increased value and volume of sales.
MHAS which was formed in 2015 includes representatives from the UMF Honey Association and a wide range of industry participants.
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