9 Oct 2013

Defining manuka to prove a challenge

7:33 am on 9 October 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) bee industry representative will have their work cut out for them trying to come up with a definition of manuka honey that is palatable to everyone.

The ministry is assessing industry feedback as it looks to develop interim guidelines for the definition and labelling of manuka honey.

Bee Products Standards Council acting chairperson John Hartnell said debate on how to measure the active ingredients in manuka honey had been raging in the bee industry for the past 20 years.

"Obviously there are different groups with differing opinions and at the end of the day I guess MPI are going to have that challenge to work through to come out the other side with something that's workable and realistic and provides good confidence to our international markets," Mr Hartnell said.

He hoped manuka honey companies had enough common sense to come together, work with MPI and formulate standards which worked for everyone.