5 Aug 2014

Honey firm criticises manuka labelling

6:26 pm on 5 August 2014

A long-established honey marketer, Airborne Honey, says a new labelling guide for manuka honey won't provide consumers or overseas regulators with the assurance they need.

The Ministry for Primary Industries released its interim guideline last week, while research continues into the specifications for the high valued honey.

It's designed to provide accurate information on what constitutes manuka honey and to overcome false labelling complaints in overseas markets.

A beekeeper beside flowering tea trees which produce manuka honey.

A beekeeper beside flowering tea trees which produce manuka honey. Photo: PHOTO NZ

But Airborne Honey says the interim guideline still doesn't measure up to what's needed to regulate the industry and restore trust.

It objects to the inclusion of methylglyoxal or MGO as one of the substances that can be measured to verify manuka honey.

Sales and marketing manager John Smart said the New Zealand labelling guideline needed to be aligned with the existing CODEX International Standard for Honey, which his company believed provided a more accurate measurement for honey types.