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earti

NZBF Advice for Selling and Private Labelling

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Hi there

 

First time poster so apologies if I am asking this question in the wrong place.

 

I'm looking for advice on how best to go about selling honey both domestically and for export, based on the following circumstances:

 

My partner and I have family that look after a couple of hives each (probably about 5-10 hives across the country). At this stage it's just a hobby that we like to help with. None of the extraction, processing or bottling is certified or done under proper regulation in any way. Of course, this means that we also don't sell the honey and simply share it amongst ourselves.

 

We would like to change that. Most of our honey is made in the Waikenae/Wellington region, so we would like some advice on how to go from 'hobbyist' to producing honey that is regulation compliant and ready for commercial sale. For example, I understand that the honey must be extracted in a certified kitchen. Is anyone aware of somewhere in Wellingont that this can be done?

 

Alternatively, we're interested in the private label/resale side. As you can see, we aren't producing a lot of honey with only a few hives. Ideally we would like to up the volume if we get into selling commercially. Is it possible to supplement our existing honey with honey purchased wholesale? What are the minimum order quantities for a bulk buy, and will that honey come pre-packaged and processed?

 

Unfortuantely, we don't know any one that has "walked this path" before so we feel a bit out of our depth. Is anyone aware of mentors that are able to help with this sort of thing? I feel like something as simply as a a chat with someone who has experience with this would make a world of difference to us at this point.

 

Really appreciate any advice,

 

Thanks

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Hi there

 

First time poster so apologies if I am asking this question in the wrong place.

 

I'm looking for advice on how best to go about selling honey both domestically and for export, based on the following circumstances:

 

My partner and I have family that look after a couple of hives each (probably about 5-10 hives across the country). At this stage it's just a hobby that we like to help with. None of the extraction, processing or bottling is certified or done under proper regulation in any way. Of course, this means that we also don't sell the honey and simply share it amongst ourselves.

 

We would like to change that. Most of our honey is made in the Waikenae/Wellington region, so we would like some advice on how to go from 'hobbyist' to producing honey that is regulation compliant and ready for commercial sale. For example, I understand that the honey must be extracted in a certified kitchen. Is anyone aware of somewhere in Wellingont that this can be done?

 

Alternatively, we're interested in the private label/resale side. As you can see, we aren't producing a lot of honey with only a few hives. Ideally we would like to up the volume if we get into selling commercially. Is it possible to supplement our existing honey with honey purchased wholesale? What are the minimum order quantities for a bulk buy, and will that honey come pre-packaged and processed?

 

Unfortuantely, we don't know any one that has "walked this path" before so we feel a bit out of our depth. Is anyone aware of mentors that are able to help with this sort of thing? I feel like something as simply as a a chat with someone who has experience with this would make a world of difference to us at this point.

 

Really appreciate any advice,

 

Thanks

Welcome @earti I recommend you join up with the Wellington beekeepers club. There is also a club that meets In Otaki, from there you will meet people that will be able to assist you with what is required as far as regulations in your area.

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I like Dansar's post. I've not ever sold honey, so no use asking me. However, I did read it up a little out of interest. If you go through the MPI website and if you forget about export (for the moment) you might find yourself in the NP1 category. This is mainly looked after by your local council food officers and so you should go have a chat to your council's duty planner to see what is involved. I did a total up and it would cost about $1000 in order to go down that route. But every council is different. However, unless you make more than $1k profit, it does not seem economic, without even considering the cost of your own time. This was for fees initial fees, consultation and ongoing annual fee. The annual fee purely for reissuing paperwork was $145 I think. Maybe there is a semi-commercial who could confirm or rubbish that?

 

However, I didn't ever go see the duty planner so I didn't confirm anything and still not that interested. But as I understand it that with a bit of effort and paperwork your home kitchen can be used for all of the above at a small scale if you do it all properly. Unfortunately, the fees seem to kill it even if you were donating to the school fair, plus no commercial honey house is ever going to be interested in such a small amount of honey. Maybe the best you could ever hope for is to get some help from a club member with a bigger operation. But generally speaking I guess this is why you rarely see honey at the school fair. And presumably this high level of food safety and tax gathering has also saved a lot of lives.

 

If you buy honey in 40 gallon drums and go down that route, to package, market and sell, you certainly could and some have. However, that really will require a load of paperwork, special premises and MPI fees.

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Your council should be able to give you the information on how to set up. Here in Dunedin @tudor has a tiny honey house where he is allowed to extract and pack honey for sale on the domestic market. He can also do this for others, and that small-scale extraction and packing could offer you another income stream.

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Janice, I think that's how we would like to start just to get our feet wet and experiment with selling our honey in the local/domestic market. I think a small operation along the lines of what @tudor has would be a great way for us to test this out. We really love the design/branding process so it would be a real delight to see our honey labelled and ready to sell!

 

The Wellington Beekeepers Association website doesn't seem to have any contact person, and their 'next' meeting is October 2016. Does anyone have any contacts in the Wellington/Kapiti region with the ability to do small-scale extraction/packing?

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Hi Earti,

 

  • President: Frank Lindsay, Ph 04-478 3367 Wellington Beekeepers. Frank is a hugely knowledgeable person and will be able to steer you in the right direction.

 

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@tudor could you comment on costs of fees and requirements from your council, initial plus annual?

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Get in touch with your council food inspectors who will by now know all about honey requirements. Get them to help you, they will be pleased to do so.

I paid $311 for verification, and annual fees are $60, yours may vary.

I can give you more info if your council don't give you what you need.

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@earti maybe contact local flavour (wgtn) honey to see where/how they get their honey extracted and packaged for sale in wellington? i'm not sure how many hives they run, but i'm under the impression (could be wrong!) that it's not so many

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