Comvita seeks to secure more manuka honey

Comvita says it's doing everything possible to secure an increased supply of manuka honey.

The Bay of Plenty bee and natural products company is New Zealand's largest producer and marketer of manuka honey, which is increasingly being used in the medical world for healing wounds.

It's made a net half year profit of $2.4 million but expects a stronger result in the second half of the year.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said a shortage of manuka honey production last year pushed up prices and led the company to look at building up its own sources and not rely so heavily on contract suppliers.

In October Comvita purchased its fourth apiary business, Kiwi Honey of Whanganui which has 3500 hives.

Mr Hewlett said about a third of Comvita's manuka honey supply now comes from apiary businesses that it owns.

Next story in Rural: Stripe rust examples wanted for research