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Manuka Health welcomes MPI efforts over honey

Media Release
Tuesday 12 December 2017

Manuka Health welcomes MPI efforts to authenticate New Zealand Manuka honey

Manuka Health welcomes New Zealand’s new official Manuka honey definition. New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released its finalised scientific definition which identifies five properties to authenticate genuine Manuka honey, protecting the integrity and authenticity of Manuka honey to its uniquely New Zealand origin.

Manuka Health supports the Government’s efforts to protect authentic Manuka honey producers from imitation and tampering. “It’s critical that New Zealand protects Manuka honey on the global market, where we see increasing adulteration and false claims of this highly valued product. New Zealand is the only source of authentic Manuka honey and we have needed a clearer scientific definition that delineates genuine, premium product from the fakes,” said John Kippenberger, Manuka Health’s CEO.

“MPI’s work is another step to safeguard the value of New Zealand Manuka honey. They have addressed some of the industry concerns and tightened some of the parameters; while we hoped that more feedback from the consultation period with industry would be included in MPI’s finalised definition, we believe that this is a good start to protect our industry,” he added.

With a joint government and industry ambition to grow the value of New Zealand Manuka honey to $1.2 billion a year by 2028, the definition programme supports the foundations for the next 10 years of industry growth.

“This is important for customers around the world. It reassures them that New Zealand exported Manuka honey is genuine,” Mr Kippenberger said. MPI’s New Zealand Manuka honey definition specifies a set of five science-based markers which identify the origin of Manuka honey. These markers need to be present to credibly call it New Zealand Manuka honey. Depending on the minimum level of one of the new markers, phenyllactic acid (3-PLA), the honey will be defined as monofloral or multifloral Manuka honey. Only honey that meets the new standard will be certified for export as New Zealand Manuka honey.

Mr Kippenberger encouraged the industry to focus on building New Zealand Manuka honey’s reputation on a global stage, “It is important that we work together to protect and grow this unique and special product and ensure we are building an industry that will add value to New Zealand’s agribusiness export portfolio.”

Authentication is the first step in classifying Manuka honey by its New Zealand origin. In addition, the rating of Manuka honey is an important guide for consumers and methylglyoxal (MGO) remains the lead, internationally recognised and scientifically researched component linked to the potency and grading of Manuka honey. “Manuka Health pioneered MGOTM as a transparent testing and rating system that gives consumers assurance of the quality of Manuka Health’s Manuka honey. Over the past decade we have built MGOTM to be an internationally recognised guide in helping consumers purchase Manuka honey based on its methylglyoxal potency,” says John.

ENDS

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