11 Feb 2016

Honey companies merge to push exports

10:56 am on 11 February 2016

Two Marlborough honey companies have joined forces to create a single brand to grow business and exports into Asia and the United States.

Taylor Pass Honey Company is a merger of beekeeping business Apitech New Zealand and the Honey Company, which creates the products.

Managing director Darren Clifford said exports had grown 50 percent over the past five years and the new company would soon have the capacity to process up to 1500 tonnes of honey each year.

It's hoped the new brand will stand out more in overseas markets, Mr Clifford said.

"We wanted to form a brand that represented the South Island a bit more - the rugged south. A lot of the consumers around the world were telling us there's so many brands in the market now and it's hard to define where they come from or what their sense of place might be. So this is a step in the right direction."

The company is hoping to increase its 7000 hives by 2000 hives each year, he said.

"The beekeeping industry and the honey industry is certainly going through some key changes and has grown considerably over the past few years.

"We are committed to growing in the South Island especially, so we'll continue to grow hive numbers and also around volume packed.

"Our key markets are still very much Asia-based, although we are expanding into the United States and also looking at other markets around the world."

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