New Zealand Mānuka honey exporters have welcomed an initiative by the Coalition Government to help secure the term “mānuka honey” to be used exclusively by Kiwi exporters, ensuring that our multimillion-dollar industry is protected.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had recently announced that a Provincial Growth Funding of $5.7 million has been approved in principle, and will go to the Mānuka Honey Appellation Society (MHAS). This fund will benefit our Mānuka honey producers, including Māori.
Majority of the funding was a grant for scientific research, but the remainded was being negotiated “as a commercially equivalent loan to assist with intellectual property protection for the term ‘mānuka’ for the benefit of all New Zealand producers”.
Midlands Apiaries international brand manager Adam Boot said it was great news for the industry: “The announcement is hugely positive. The size of the grant would appear to be sufficient to get the job done”.
''A positive outcome for New Zealand would be a positive outcome for the consumer,'' Mr Boot added.
Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos agreed.
“The funding is critical in realising the benefits of comprehensive protection of New Zealand manuka honey primarily for consumers and producers, and also in how it will deliver wider economic and regional benefits for communities and iwi throughout New Zealand.”
“The Provincial Growth Fund provides a structured approach to bringing together industry, iwi and Government and that will support the implementation of the best available science, as well as ensuring protection of the term,” Ms Kos added.
New Zealand exported $350million of honey with the potential to grow into a billion-dollar industry over time.