30 Nov 2013

Comvita wants to produce half its own manuka honey

9:36 pm on 30 November 2013

The Bay of Plenty-based natural health company Comvita says it's on track to have more of its manuka honey supplied from its own apiaries.

Comvita wants to provide more manuka honey from its own hives.

Comvita wants to provide more manuka honey from its own hives. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The company's trying to get half of its manuka honey produced in-house, and believes it will help it increase both productivity and yield.

The chief executive, Brett Hewlett, says the company currently gets about 35% of its honey from its own suppliers and it will get to 50% within two years.

But he says that is the maximum.

The company has announced a small interim loss for its latest half-year and says it's been struggling in the Hong Kong market - its second biggest after Australia.

It says sales there have been affected by recent food security issues and that it has been running campaigns in Hong Kong to try and reassure consumers about the integrity of its brand.

In July, one of Comvita's products was identified by the Hong Kong Consumer Council as being one of eight manuka honeys for sale there that had been adulterated with extra sugar.

The council's testing methods and results were disputed by honey manufacturers.