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1 hour ago, Bron said:

Some of this we have done to ourselves. However, the biggest damage has been done by the ministry and their complete misalignment with the realities of bees,

From where I look, the entire debacle was brought on by participants in the industry .  And MPI have a near impossible job.

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49 minutes ago, yesbut said:

From where I look, the entire debacle was brought on by participants in the industry .  And MPI have a near impossible job.

"From where I look", really, is that good grammar or are you mixing your cliches?

There would be no debacle without MPI, they're crucial to this debacle.

MPI do have an impossible job, that was made possible by doing nothing for a long long time.

MPI would have been better off not getting involved unless or until they could do the job properly. 

Maybe MPI did already do the job properly, but I don't know either way. Who does really know?

The bubble was allowed to grow without limit and was maybe even encouraged politically as good for the national interest, it was so wonderful.

The political element reminds me of the Rolling Stones song Sympathy for the Devil  "when afterall was you and me".

 

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greedy  new beeks were just being normal humans desperate to have a piece of the next big thing.

lets face it our  current cultural values encourage that behavior.

without a radical change to the priorities of our society it will happen again and again .

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4 hours ago, Bron said:

What we had before wasn’t quite right, what we have now is untenable. 

No, what what had was untenable, and proven to be so. What we have now is not quite right but not far away from being ok.

What we had was beeks producing honey that had no/little market but that was ok cause we were selling it as another honey(manuka) anyway and making the big bucks.

Now what we have is, the honey that had no/little market still in the same position but just not being bought, because no marketing/selling of NZ brand. 

But beeks dont want to join together and sort that out.

This is no different to any other primary industry in NZ that has gone the same way, but we dont want to learn from all the others that now have lots of dollars for their industries to flourish.

Deer producers not that long ago got 7+million from govt, to go sell their produce to the world, the money is there for the taking, millions of it, but you got to be together and come up with stake money.

 

Edited by Dennis Crowley
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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

 

Hmm, that is a common perception, but not quite the case.

 

If we go back in time a bit, other countries started to become aware that the NZ Manuka honey they were paying huge bucks for, in some cases had hardly any manuka in it.

 

A notable example was a series of media reports that came out of England, when the Queens grocer stopped stocking NZ manuka in their store, due to the high level of fraud they had detected. (Perpetuated by Kiwis unfortunately).

 

Likewise, the Chinese discovered that their $500 jars of manuka, had sweet stuff all manuka in them. Their govt made noises that a verification system was needed, or their govt would block importation.

 

MPI were forced to act. Furthermore if they had not, our market would have likely collapsed under the weight of irreperable damage to our reputation as clean, green, honest

yes I accept that is probably true.

But after finally deciding to make a move, MPI had a wide range of options prior to choosing an option.

If they really got it right and all the people who claim otherwise are wrong I don't know, maybe it is not quite right. 

As PR disasters go, this appears to be one in terms of some beekeepers who are adamant they really do have Manuka and of a pendulum that has swung too far the other way, such that I read about $1.50 per kg honey and long term beekeepers going to the wall.

As slow moving as government is, it is part of their job to be calm, rational and to manage change accordingly to the people innocent of fraud. They take a very slow and drawn out approach to CO2 emmissions and their own government limousines. We are told these emissions are a threat to the survival of the human race, but they come down like a tonne of bricks on beekeepers. 

They might have been better to stay out of the science and simply go after some of the big counterfeiters and put them behind bars to send a message loud and clear. There have always been laws about fraud, false advertising, misrepresentation and so on and they could easily have proved what was going on. They in fact have prosecuted some of these. The Manuka standard was I guess, seen as an easier and cheaper way out of the problem. Other options were many, one would be look at harvest dec's, apiary sites and hive numbers and trace where honey went in and then what honey came out. Eventually it all comes back to keeping your 'eye on the ball' and they simply haven't.

 

The greed that inflated the manuka bubble expanded because there was no timely intervention in response and that was when it was needed most; before anyone overseas cried foul.

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

No, what what had was untenable, and proven to be so. What we have now is not quite right but not far away from being ok.

What we had was beeks producing honey that had no/little market but that was ok cause we were selling it as another honey(manuka) anyway and making the big bucks.

Now what we have is, the honey that had no/little market still in the same position but just not being bought, because no marketing/selling of NZ brand. 

But beeks dont want to join together and sort that out.

This is no different to any other primary industry in NZ that has gone the same way, but we dont want to learn from all the others that now have lots of dollars for their industries to flourish.

Deer producers not that long ago got 7+million from govt, to go sell their produce to the world, the money is there for the taking, millions of it, but you got to be together and come up with stake money.

 

Yes, but what happened to that big market which bought all that non Manuka. I mean, there was a lot of demand and I guess it was blended and sold. Or still in buyers warehouses? 

If say 5000 ton was sold before the standards, would there not still be demand for 5000? I hear plenty of Manuka of various grades not getting bought...

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It is still being blended. Constructing something that can pass the standard, plus attain maximum value, has become a science.

 

However in my view, the customer can now be assured they are getting pretty much what they think they are getting.

Also, to the best of my knowledge anyway, we have at least never been guilty of selling fake honey. It's all been real honey, just not necessarily from the floral type stated on the label.

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3 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

No, what what had was untenable, and proven to be so. What we have now is not quite right but not far away from being ok.

What we had was beeks producing honey that had no/little market but that was ok cause we were selling it as another honey(manuka) anyway and making the big bucks.

Now what we have is, the honey that had no/little market still in the same position but just not being bought, because no marketing/selling of NZ brand. 

But beeks dont want to join together and sort that out.

This is no different to any other primary industry in NZ that has gone the same way, but we dont want to learn from all the others that now have lots of dollars for their industries to flourish.

Deer producers not that long ago got 7+million from govt, to go sell their produce to the world, the money is there for the taking, millions of it, but you got to be together and come up with stake money.

 

Uh huh ..... and they laughed Bruce out of the arena ....

As deer producers we get levied at slaughter and hardly notice it .... the lev y that is .... and as beekeepers we grumbled like heck and threw out a levy .  We still have a lot to learn and a long way to go. Meanwhile the financial screw tightens and what loose cash was floating around is rapidly disappearing.

I was waiting for the Gvt minister on the the news to night saying they were gonna compensate forestry workers for lost work days due to Covid 19 , instead of which he was talking  'redeployment' ..... what ever that means .

 

Anyway , I can’t grumble too much...

tonight we have food.

9FD14F2A-B524-419E-913A-CA9CD17F49BF.jpeg

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

9FD14F2A-B524-419E-913A-CA9CD17F49BF.jpeg

 or a mess😂

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Yeah nah .... turned out alright . Always does.   Hot oil , throw in a bit crushed garlic,  turmeric, cumin and coriander , stir fry some silverbeet in butter and you got yourself one hell of a low cholesterol, vegetarian feed.

If you feel real creative, boil up some spuds, throw some sesame seed in a hot pan til they start to pop, grind and then throw them , the spuds, bit more turmeric for colour into a pan with a smidgin of hemp oil and give a brief stir.

The health food of Beekeepers.

Seven days a week, never fails. We are still alive !

For a bit of variety, throw in some venison ..... but the boys have been a bit slack lately.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

9FD14F2A-B524-419E-913A-CA9CD17F49BF.jpeg

a few years back a cousin of mine asked my views on her plan to quit her design job to try and make a go of it as an artist. That was a few years after i'd quit some job to go play poker.

I advised her to become familiar with cooking and eating good food with rice and lentils as the foundation.

Fast forward about seven years. She's still making a go of it as an artist, i traded the poker gamble for a desk job, and kept my house

Edited by tommy dave
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Hmmmm ...... soo .... to all those struggling Bee keepers , conserve your resources , Iive mean ,go eat lentils and rice and  be ready to ride the Big Wave when it hits.

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

Uh huh ..... and they laughed Bruce out of the arena ....

No they just didnt want to promote another company/brand of honey, that had no plan or idea as to our it was going to change anything.

If they gave them money then all the other honey companies/brands would have their hand out as well.

The difference with other industries is that they go looking for money to push Brand (insert industry here)NZ for the greater good of their members, not a particular operator.

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I suppose it was a sort of brand .... it was a brand of survival for half the industry.

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On 24/02/2020 at 10:45 AM, Bron said:

Some of this we have done to ourselves. However, the biggest damage has been done by the ministry and their complete misalignment with the realities of bees, trees & beekeepers. Also, the one size fits all, never mind that multi-sided figure may not fit into that square hole, but it will be near enough, that is the Manuka standard.
 

What we had before wasn’t quite right, what we have now is untenable. 

MPI had their hands forced by our key export markets demanding a standard due to the antics of the industry.  No matter what they came up with was never going to be perfect but something had to happen to prevent a total collapse of the industry.

 

“What we had before wasn’t quite right” - no it was fraud!!

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MPI actively encouraged an increase in beehive numbers and even had special arrangements with some corporate beekeepers. They also imposed things like harvest declarations and honey traceability but completely failed to do anything with this information. I absolutely believe that there was criminal behaviour by some beekeepers but I also know that MPI failed in its duty to keep those beekeepers in line.

I agree that a few prosecutions for fraud would have done a lot more for the industry then a set of arbitrary and very doubtful so-called standards.

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1 minute ago, john berry said:

MPI actively encouraged an increase in beehive numbers and even had special arrangements with some corporate beekeepers. They also imposed things like harvest declarations and honey traceability but completely failed to do anything with this information. I absolutely believe that there was criminal behaviour by some beekeepers but I also know that MPI failed in its duty to keep those beekeepers in line.

I agree that a few prosecutions for fraud would have done a lot more for the industry then a set of arbitrary and very doubtful so-called standards.

What were the special arrangements??

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Just now, Ted said:

What were the special arrangements??

I wish I knew. I believe that money was paid by some corporate's to MPI but I don't know any of the details. I am not that deeply into beekeeping politics . I assume it was all legal but I do wonder about conflict-of-interest.

Hopefully somebody on the forum knows more about it than I do and can enlighten us all.

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1 hour ago, john berry said:

I wish I knew. I believe that money was paid by some corporate's to MPI but I don't know any of the details. I am not that deeply into beekeeping politics . I assume it was all legal but I do wonder about conflict-of-interest.

Hopefully somebody on the forum knows more about it than I do and can enlighten us all.

Paid to MPI for what??  Sounds like a good conspiracy theory to me!!

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13 hours ago, jamesc said:

I suppose it was a sort of brand .... it was a brand of survival for half the industry.

Didn't you have your own brand in the u.k.If so what happened to it.

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Maybe we will begin to see produce such as honey heading into the UK again now that they are out on their own.. 

Magical Honeydew from the colonies.. let’s see the aussies try and copy that one. 

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35 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Maybe we will begin to see produce such as honey heading into the UK again now that they are out on their own.. 

Magical Honeydew from the colonies.. let’s see the aussies try and copy that one. 

A question for Honeydew producers.  Prior to the Manuka standard introduction when you were being paid good $$$ for your dew did you think it was being sold as Honeydew and so was standing on its own two feet or were you aware it was being “blended” into Manuka??

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5 hours ago, john berry said:

MPI actively encouraged an increase in beehive numbers and even had special arrangements with some corporate beekeepers. They also imposed things like harvest declarations and honey traceability but completely failed to do anything with this information. I absolutely believe that there was criminal behaviour by some beekeepers but I also know that MPI failed in its duty to keep those beekeepers in line.

I agree that a few prosecutions for fraud would have done a lot more for the industry then a set of arbitrary and very doubtful so-called standards.

John, that's some very broad and damming accusations there,which we would all love to see/hear proof of, if there was/is criminal behavior then let the authorities know.

My many meetings over the years of being in bee politics with MPI have shown me there complete ineptitude at most things.

They change hands and direction every election cycle, they don't decide direction, that comes from the ministers which are of equal ineptitude.

MPI just make happen good or bad that what a minister decides is their pet project/decision.

Every mtg we have with them, apart from a couple of the head people, there is a new bunch of underlings that we have to repeat everything again to bring them up to speed before we can progress the conversations.

I doubt they would know what to do with a bribe.

But you seem to be in the know so lets have the goss and go to the police.

 

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6 minutes ago, Ted said:

A question for Honeydew producers.  Prior to the Manuka standard introduction when you were being paid good $$$ for your dew did you think it was being sold as Honeydew and so was standing on its own two feet or were you aware it was being “blended” into Manuka??

I think all types of honey were being used for blending by some hence the climb in value and subsequent drop. 

My honey was sold in the drum to different buyers for what they offered to pay me.. the most I got for Dew was $10 kg but believe it earnt $14-16 some yrs prior. 

This has corrected to around $3. Like most varieties. 

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