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Beekeepers Back The Science

15 December 2004

Beekeepers Back The Science

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group (NZBIG) has welcomed the start of a risk analysis that will likely result in more honey and beehive products imported into New Zealand.

"The New Zealand bee industry makes quality products and sees the onset of greater competition in the domestic market as inevitable. As an export industry we have to compete every day in offshore markets, so we will engage positively in the consultation process," said Milton Jackson, NZBIG Chairman.

His comments follow the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry releasing an import risk analysis on honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, beeswax and bee venom.

MAF has said that the risk analysis recommends safeguards that will enable the importation of honey and other bee products from more countries than at present. Currently, New Zealand allows the importation of honey and bee products from only a few Pacific Island nations.

Mr Jackson said the risk analysis had been anticipated by the industry.

"Now that it has been released the industry can analyse MAF’s proposition that these products can be safely imported with appropriate safeguards to protect New Zealand from exotic pests and diseases, such as European foulbrood and small hive beetle," Mr Jackson said.

Pastoral farmers are already exposed to full domestic competition and have adapted in a positive way.

"We will back the science. If the risk analysis concludes that it is safe to import these products, then I think the industry will accept it," he said.

NZBIG, part of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), plans to participate and take an active interesting the consultation process.

ENDS

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