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Adam Boot

What does this mean? Can't Sell your Honey, Lets Talk!

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I would agree it would be hard to come by, I know places in south island can do it but I would have thought not to much on the grand scheme of things. On occasions we will get a pohutukawa/clover blend that's quite light but its still odd years. And to be honest I get no more for it than a dark Bush so who cares.

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  Can clover be  lighter than rata and pohutukawa ?

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clover used to be the pre-eminent honey in New Zealand and the whiter the better. The majority of my customers at the farmers market now prefer anything other than clover and when they do buy clover they prefer it with a bit of something else rather than pure.Times are changing.

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50 minutes ago, john berry said:

clover used to be the pre-eminent honey in New Zealand and the whiter the better. The majority of my customers at the farmers market now prefer anything other than clover and when they do buy clover they prefer it with a bit of something else rather than pure.Times are changing.

Locally I would agree. Internationally - other markets have other preferences. 

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3 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

Unfortunately not a lot this year. 

I would  have thought the lack of supply and higher demand might have pushed the price up to around ten to twelve  bucks a kilo .......

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

I would  have thought the lack of supply and higher demand might have pushed the price up to around ten to twelve  bucks a kilo .......

Are you selling to Adam?  Just a wild guess... 

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We have clover at a 22-24 colour that I am prepared to let go at $9/kg.  Most buyers seem to have 'filled their orders for the time being'.

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It must happen with all honey, I even struggle to get buyers for mono manuka at times, I email everyone I can find on the nz beekeeper mag and they all get back with we already have enough of this grade or something similar

18 hours ago, tony said:

I was always impressed with hollands creamed clover how light it was and smooth to. 

Doesn't it all come out really light once creamed? 

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19 hours ago, jamesc said:

I would  have thought the lack of supply and higher demand might have pushed the price up to around ten to twelve  bucks a kilo .......

Think of the supply and demand as international and not domestic. There is no shortage of supply from Bulgaria, Canada, Romania etc etc I am looking at the same International opportunities and we have to be competitive in order to get NZ honey back in the mix. 

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A co op has 2 chances of succeeding in my book.  The 1st is for a group of beekeepers to buy out and existing strong brand like Airbourne for example.  

 

The 2nd is to become innovative with the honey.  This means the honey will be a characteristic product and not the main ingredient.  Think something like Honey water. 

 

Neither solution is a quick fix, nor will it be cheap. If you do not have capital to contribute you are not part of the solution sorry.

 

You do not have to own the entire brand yourself.  You can bring in a distributor partner and go halved. 

 

Distribution is the biggest challenge to any product.  Branding is also very challenging. To be successful you need to do the 2 together.

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9 minutes ago, flash4cash said:

A co op has 2 chances of succeeding in my book.  The 1st is for a group of beekeepers to buy out and existing strong brand like Airbourne for example.  

 

The 2nd is to become innovative with the honey.  This means the honey will be a characteristic product and not the main ingredient.  Think something like Honey water. 

 

Neither solution is a quick fix, nor will it be cheap. If you do not have capital to contribute you are not part of the solution sorry.

 

You do not have to own the entire brand yourself.  You can bring in a distributor partner and go halved. 

 

Distribution is the biggest challenge to any product.  Branding is also very challenging. To be successful you need to do the 2 together.

I need to understand this? So you buy an existing brand Airbourne or A N Other - Now what makes that brand more successful byy buying the cooperatives Honey and paying a higher price for it?

Option 2 probably requires option 1 first - Infrastructure platform and distribution to support the NPD

 

Now how much money do you think you need for this venture?

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On 20/03/2019 at 5:29 PM, Adam Boot said:

What is trying to be achieved here?

What are the goals and objectives?

If the Market value for Clover is $5 how does forming a Co-Operative make the value $8 or $9?

 

I would welcome an explanation of the thought process?  

 

Hi Adam, 

 

Perhaps a chat and the opportunity to catch up with other Beekeepers. It costs nothing to listen to ideas. Also perhaps an injection of a bit of positive after harvesting a years crop. 

 

I think you are very good at what you do. You have no doubt earnt your salary, and are appreciated for the work you do. However, there are a lot of bee keepers out there right now who are also very good at what they do, who love the lifestyle and can see it eroding around them. The work is done, the crop is harvested, but the honey is not getting sold.

 

Right now any ideas are worth following up.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Adam Boot said:

I need to understand this? So you buy an existing brand Airbourne or A N Other - Now what makes that brand more successful byy buying the cooperatives Honey and paying a higher price for it?

Option 2 probably requires option 1 first - Infrastructure platform and distribution to support the NPD

 

Now how much money do you think you need for this venture?

The brand is was already successful.  The beekeepers are now directing and selling their honey into it.  This allows them to actually sell honey each year with certainty and receive the best price for it.  A brand owner will always want to arbitrate the difference.  Co op ownership takes away this friction. 10's of millions are required for this. 

 

Option 2 is harder.  I could see a few pop up with time, however I think it will unlikely make it to a co op model.  This could be done with less but take vastly more time at least 2/3 years. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bron said:

 

Hi Adam, 

 

Perhaps a chat and the opportunity to catch up with other Beekeepers. It costs nothing to listen to ideas. Also perhaps an injection of a bit of positive after harvesting a years crop. 

 

I think you are very good at what you do. You have no doubt earnt your salary, and are appreciated for the work you do. However, there are a lot of bee keepers out there right now who are also very good at what they do, who love the lifestyle and can see it eroding around them. The work is done, the crop is harvested, but the honey is not getting sold.

 

Right now any ideas are worth following up.

 

 

I wholeheartedly agree. It cost nothing to listen, but you need goals, objectives and outcomes from the process. I agree with what you say about hardworking beekeepers who are very good at what they do. Your next point though is the critical one and the focus needs to be on answering that question? 'the honey is not getting sold' Why is this? Answering this question will be the solution not a co-operative. The coop might be your chosen vehicle after the fact, but first the answer to your question needs to be found? 

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Do sales drop during a Northern Hemisphere winter? Market stats will shed light on that.

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5 hours ago, flash4cash said:

The 2nd is to become innovative with the honey.  This means the honey will be a characteristic product and not the main ingredient.  Think something like

Grappa con Miele. I have made this for my own consumption after I was brought a bottle from overseas that I copied. Seriously yummy. I've never seen it for sale in NZ. Completely different thing to mead. But for sure there are lots of innovative products out there. Doubtless the costs of setup are high, still I think it is the kind of thing that NZ should be doing regardless of honey demand and supply. It is no different to Calvados in Normandy and so on.

 

Grappa con Miele

In case you are wondering: essentially you take alcohol from a still (Grappa) and dilute this with honey (Miele) to about 40% alcohol content in a bain marie. Grappa is I think often made from the skins left behind after the winemaker has finished with them. But there are various forms of alcohol made on a large scale from dairy waste products (vodka) to grain alcohol. No reason not make alcohol using sugar, but a high value and special product might come from using honey for the alcohol as well as honey for the sweetner... Grappa on its own is pretty strong stuff and is best poured on ice cream. Grappa has a very limited market. But Grappa con Miele is more in the line of a sweet liqueur and has wider appeal. In a similar way to Chinese Gooseberries, it will need a new name... 

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7 hours ago, flash4cash said:

The brand is was already successful.  The beekeepers are now directing and selling their honey into it.  This allows them to actually sell honey each year with certainty and receive the best price for it.  A brand owner will always want to arbitrate the difference.  Co op ownership takes away this friction. 10's of millions are required for this. 

 

Option 2 is harder.  I could see a few pop up with time, however I think it will unlikely make it to a co op model.  This could be done with less but take vastly more time at least 2/3 years. 

 

 

 

In business it is quite common as you suggest for a company to buy a target company and rework the offerings that company has.

Otherwise everything has to be built from the ground up.

So the proposition to buy an established honey company, re-work it and build on it is a valid one.

The only advantages I can see in a co-op approach is a guarantee to purchase honey every season and some price smoothing over multi-year periods.  Otherwise a co-op is a bit like socialism, it sounds good, but the reality is a whole lot different.

 

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10 minutes ago, CraBee said:

Otherwise a co-op is a bit like socialism, it sounds good, but the reality is a whole lot different.

Co Op are what you make them.  A well preforming Co Op should be hard to beat on pay out. They can be terrible as well look at fonterra, does not focus on branded products but stays with commodities.  A co op to sell bulk honey will not be a worthwhile pursuit long term. 

 

By the sounds of things the last co op failed as people stopped supplying it to chase the any honey into manuka game. That was a rare event and unlikely to be repeated again. Rules as I have mentioned before could also stop people bailing to protect everyone. 

 

I sure you are aware that we belong to a co op. It fantastic we love it.  Sure we have a mumble here and there about things but overall we would not leave.  I am sure you would find the same with tatua, or zespri.  Why? because when done right co op are a great thing to be a part of. 

 

To make this point clearer.  Our main competition in the goat infant formula game is the Dutch.  They supply a brand owner on a contract basis.  Our product sell for similar prices international.  Their payout they receive for their milk is 1/3 of ours.  That is right 33c in the dollar for what we get.  Why because we are part of a co op that owns the brands. 

 

I am not suggesting that the margin is that big in the honey game.  But it is a valid point to make. 

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On 21/03/2019 at 8:54 PM, Adam Boot said:

What are you trying to sell? We look for quality supply all the time and business is tuff but growing. 

No - Just some brands are busy and others are not. What are you looking to sell and what quality? contact me through this site messenger

 

Asked and apparently there is enough inventory right now Adam and our 'quality' honey (although it matches the product lines nicely) will just be sitting right here in the cleared out sheds waiting for sale .... 

 

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As a hobbyist looking in (again) talk of a co-operative means co-operation, and it doesn't take long  looking around this site  to get a giggle out of that thought.

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On 21/03/2019 at 10:24 AM, Rob's BP said:

 

@Alistair I assume Adam is talking of the Honey Co-op formerly based around Timaru, that owned the Hollands, Sweet Meadow and other brands. The key person of which, and many suppliers switched to Midlands when the Co-op finally fell apart. 

I had some involvement with the Co-op post demise and while I can't discuss details, let's just say it was far from the ideals of a co-op as postulated by some on this site recently, or a well run company despite the best efforts of some.

 

Without quoting those before in this thread, I'll answer them generally by saying that I largely agree with Adam. A co-op seems to be desired by those who feel disenfranchised by the current system. In reality a co-op seeks to replicate and add to the existing brands, but doesn't create additional value to justify the required commitment of financial resources. If it gets off the ground, all it will achieve in the marketplace is to add additional brands, and competition, to the existing market. How will it find it's place in the market? Generally by starting near the bottom(!), causing more competition, and more choice for the supermarkets to play off against each other, thereby lowering prices for all. 

 

Also note, given the "constant bickering" and disagreement of current and historical beekeeping in NZ, how do you expect a group of beekeepers to agree on enough, and put enough money into it, then there's the issue of appropriate skills and resourcing. Who's going to put the time and commitment into all aspects of this? This will take millions of $ and tens of thousands of hours to do even a basic operation with a reasonable modicum of success.

Part of the reason the Honey Co-op fell apart was because they were a group of many beeks many (possibly all) of whom were looking out for their own interests first. I heard more than one say they would supply part of their crop/what they had to to the Co-op, but would sell to other commercial buyers for higher prices. 

Also, skills: while the suppliers/owners are experts at producing drummed honey, they don't necessarily have the skill set and additional time and resources to create and run a successful manufacturing operation and the marketing and sales side of the business. This can't be done part time while you're looking after your bees in the back blocks...

Who has the millions of $ to fund this, not just the initial funds, especially coming after the past several years of financial difficulty. The beeks involved will need at least several years of accepting lower returns investing into this. 

Apart from the Canadian example written earlier in the thread, do co-ops have a good track record? Not in this country, look at Fonterra's track record of destroying farmer wealth for example, and compare that to the privately owned dairy companies. 

While a co-op is great left wing ideology, history shows it is a great way to create negative equity and below average returns. Private ownership and professional organisations have a much better record of creating wealth. Compare the results of the Honey Co-op, which had a historical and first-starter's advantage over Midland Honey. 

If disenfranchised beeks want skin in the game, and to own part of a larger enterprise, you'll probably do better financially by buying shares in some other company e.g. Midlands or Manuka Health if you could, otherwise Comvita or Capilano, otherwise other investments

 

Sorry to burst the dream, but while the best side of it is wonderful in theory, unless financed and resourced properly this could be another nightmare, that creates competition, and drags down prices, returns, standards and reputations. 

Hi Rob,  can you say if manuka exports are increasing, steady or decreasing?  

Like others on the forum, I can't understand-  Is it possible that the same or more manuka is exported now compared to prior MPI standards.  Makes no sense, so much was used to bulk out sales.  Now that stock is not used for blending- so export must be down... 

By the way, do you have the packing plant at Tauriko?  If so, I visited a week ago, nice. 

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Manuka  exports are down is what I been told 

Multi floral manuka people tell me they  can't sell

I have  been offer $6 for multi floral  93 % manuka  last was a lot more 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ok Beeman 1 .... I just got an order for 20 drums organic manuka .... 250 - 300 mgo ..... Damn .... we 'aint organic.  Next year !  What with Philbees staples and excess honey, it's certainly doable ... eh .

Edited by jamesc

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James,Tgo organic you will have change some of your practises.

 Sugar, Must be certified organic and you have to get permission from NZFSA to even feed sugar

You may have to get a statement from every land owner within a 5 km radiys of the bee hive site,ask what they spray and test for those chemicals in your honey.These are only some of the regulations. Not easy.

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On 27/03/2019 at 7:17 PM, Gino de Graaf said:

Hi Rob,  can you say if manuka exports are increasing, steady or decreasing?  

Like others on the forum, I can't understand-  Is it possible that the same or more manuka is exported now compared to prior MPI standards.  Makes no sense, so much was used to bulk out sales.  Now that stock is not used for blending- so export must be down... 

By the way, do you have the packing plant at Tauriko?  If so, I visited a week ago, nice. 

 

Hi @Gino de Graaf, I haven't run the export stats for a while, so can't say definitively, but all reports, and my impression is that we're well down from our peak years. However there are multiple contributing factors, including Manuka definition limiting what's sold as Manuka, and the volume decreases over the past few years. Even if we are up compared to last year, that's not saying much and could be just due to supply volume compared to an even worse year. Once export values exceed those of our peak years, then we could say MPI's definition work has really succeeded (although another goal of theirs was to ensure markets remained open to NZ Manuka, and this has succeeded).

Yes, I'm involved with a manufacturing plant at Tauriko, not sure if it's the one you're referring to.

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