The purpose of this consultation is limited to the domestic purchase and sale of New Zealand mānuka honey, and how New Zealand mānuka honey sold domestically should be regulated. The rules and requirements would apply to New Zealand businesses producing New Zealand mānuka honey and would not apply to businesses outside New Zealand.
Due to the rise in demand for New Zealand honey, honey prices have increased, and are continuing to increase. Honey labelled as mānuka generally sells for a higher price than other honey types and, although current data does not separate honey types, reports suggest that a significant amount of honey is sold as mānuka, with prices ranging from $12 per kilogram to over $140 per kilogram.
Some of our international trading partners raised concerns about the authenticity of New Zealand mānuka honey. The New Zealand Government responded with an extensive, three year, science programme. This resulted in a Government mānuka honey science definition to provide confidence that New Zealand mānuka honey is sourced from New Zealand mānuka plants. Now all mānuka honey exported from New Zealand must meet the Government mānuka honey science definition.
While the science definition gives overseas consumers’ confidence that the mānuka honey they are purchasing is authentic, it does not apply to mānuka honey sold in New Zealand. When MPI began work applying a science definition to exported mānuka honey we were clear that the next step would be considering whether mānuka honey sold in New Zealand should also be subject to testing against the science definition. This consultation is an opportunity to understand if New Zealand consumers, the honey industry and stakeholders think mānuka honey sold in New Zealand should meet the same science definition to have the same level of assurance as exported New Zealand mānuka honey.
MPI is seeking public feedback on whether and how to apply the science definition to mānuka honey sold in New Zealand. During this consultation we want to hear from a range of individuals and businesses with an interest in mānuka honey that is sold and purchased in New Zealand, to ensure we properly understand the impacts, anticipated benefits and costs of our proposals on all parts of the sector.