Gov't science definition of mānuka honey an important step
April 11, 2017
Government science definition of mānuka honey an important step forward
The industry organisation for the honey and beekeeping industry, Apiculture New Zealand, is pleased the Ministry for Primary Industries has released its proposed science definition of mānuka honey for industry review and consultation.
“The introduction of a regulatory science definition is a major milestone in the history of the mānuka honey industry. It is a relatively young industry growing very rapidly and with huge potential.
“We signalled our willingness to work with MPI to ensure its proposed science definition is robust in meeting shared objectives around consumer confidence and authenticity, and will be making a detailed submission on behalf of industry,” says Karin Kos, Chief Executive of Apiculture NZ.
“Mānuka honey is a very valuable market asset for producers and for New Zealand as a whole, and it needs to be carefully protected. It needs to be very clear what it is, and what it isn’t.
Apiculture NZ, anticipating the release of the definition, recently established an expert review team on behalf of the industry. This group will undertake a programme of due diligence on the proposed MPI science definition.
“The group is, representative of our wider industry, made up of members from an existing focus group charged with making sure we maintain our international reputation for producing safe and compliant products. The group will be supported by science advisors.
“We are only going to get one shot at this and it is important that we get it right,” says Ms Kos.
“A clear, tight and widely endorsed approach to the identity of New Zealand mānuka honey will also give our international partners confidence in our ability as an industry and country to protect the integrity of this product.
The public consultation process will take place over the next six weeks following the release of the definition and will include regional roadshows undertaken by MPI.
“We will work closely with MPI during this period. Inevitably there will be challenges with the implementation of the definition and we will be looking to solve those in the best interests of the future of the New Zealand mānuka honey industry,” says Ms Kos.