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MPI Manuka honey standard delay 'unacceptable' says UMFHA

MPI Manuka honey standard delay 'unacceptable' says UMFHA

21 August 2017

Issued by UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) Spokesperson John Rawcliffe

“The Ministry for Primary Industry’s (MPI) announcement that it is, once again, delaying finalisation of its definition and standard for Mānuka honey is unacceptable for both the industry and consumers.

“It is imperative that the country has an agreed science process in place for accurately supporting the definition of Mānuka honey which comes from the Leptospermum scoparium bush. A Government approved science process could be fed into regulatory streams like the General Requirement for Export (GREX) and used to support trade negotiations and other industry initiatives.

“The UMFHA currently has a comprehensive science base in place that has clearly identified the methodology for confirming what is genuine Mānuka honey – the job has effectively been done by the industry. The science has also been peer reviewed, published in leading scientific journals and is widely accepted by overseas reference laboratories and key researchers. While the science programme has been funded by UMFHA members, it is available for anyone within the industry to access and utilise – it is not contingent upon being a UMFHA member.

“It is pleasing to see New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters recognising this and coming out today in support of the Association, stating that his party would look to adopt the industry’s recognised science.

“We will be looking to set up an independent party over the coming weeks to establish a process for moving this issue forward with industry and regulatory bodies. Essentially, it will be business as usual for the Association and its 100 plus members. We have been waiting since 2013 for the Government to take action on this matter. As a result, of inactivity, our industry members have had to unite and invest in a programme that has delivered a superior and proven grading standard that is providing consumers with the confidence they need when buying genuine Mānuka honey from New Zealand.

“The UMFHA believes there is a great future for the Mānuka honey industry moving forward, based on the industry’s more robust Mānuka Honey Standard that has been proposed to MPI.”

Ends -

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