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Pasture/clover honey prices


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15 minutes ago, Ted said:

And what was the world market price back then??

Hate to say it but much the same.

Yes manuka was feed honey no real value.

Site rentals i'd never heard of them.

Pollination was king.

I guess when i started with dad the hope of a better future kept us going,very much like today , my guess prices will settle and beekeeping will become sustainable. (It has to)

Pasture pollination fees where talked about but implementing that was in the to hard basket.

Maybe this correction will return beekeeping to husband, wife operations?

I'm going to hold my head high ,keep positive and hope that my services remain wanted.

Keep looking for the overseas niche market...

I recall complaining about Canadians getting subsidized and that was holding back international bulk price?

 

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1 hour ago, Nuc_man said:

Maybe this correction will return beekeeping to husband, wife operations?

That’s my guess - certainly in the South Island.  Obviously the Kiwifruit industry makes a world of difference to North Island operations.  Maybe in the future commercial beekeepers will do the job because they love bees rather than because they want to make a fortune - just like it used to be.

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Okaaaay ..... so back in '95 the shelf price for 500gm was $4.00 and the the bulk price was $3.00/kg.

Fastforward  25 years and the bulk price is random at $3.50 -$4.00/kg , but the price of a 500gm on the shelf is .... I haven't bought groceries for quite a few months now.

 

You get my drift.

 

$3.50-$4.00/kg today is unscrupulous robbery and explains why Beekeepers are going broke fast.

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2 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Pollination is great, and something of a backbone for those in the right areas. But only a small portion of hives are used for it.

It's hard yakka and no as satisfying compared to boxes of honey. Used to annoy me that I needed to slog myself and bees to earn less than someone else producing a box of bush. Didn't seem equitable. 

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Just now, jamesc said:

Okaaaay ..... so back in '95 the shelf price for 500gm was $4.00 and the the bulk price was $3.00/kg.

Fastforward  25 years and the bulk price is random at $3.50 -$4.00/kg , but the price of a 500gm on the shelf is .... I haven't bought groceries for quite a few months now.

 

You get my drift.

 

$3.50-$4.00/kg today is unscrupulous robbery and explains why Beekeepers are going broke fast.

As someone said, the local market is small and protected. 

Agree, honey only operators will die at $4. 

Think $7 a 500 in shop for entry level. Thought plenty ask more.

It's unfair to compare nz producers to large bulk producers such as Canada and Australia.

2 minutes ago, jamesc said:

The catch is, the price is like a leaky boat. The hole starts small and grows.  Beekeepers fold and take the low price which then sets the price.

 

So ....   get a part time job to tide you through ..... and Hold the Line.

Build another shed? It is about last person standing. Riding it out. But who can do that? The smaller operators or the large ones?

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7 minutes ago, jamesc said:

The catch is, the price is like a leaky boat. The hole starts small and grows.  Beekeepers fold and take the low price which then sets the price.

 

So ....   get a part time job to tide you through ..... and Hold the Line.

Yep, winter jobs were a reality for a lot of beekeepers in the old days.

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9 minutes ago, Ted said:

Yep, winter jobs were a reality for a lot of beekeepers in the old days.

No mite times. Can't do it so easily now. 

We worked in the kiwifruit industry. But now the kiwifruit season starts earlier. Hard to start something when bee season is still going.

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39 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Okaaaay ..... so back in '95 the shelf price for 500gm was $4.00 and the the bulk price was $3.00/kg.

Fastforward  25 years and the bulk price is random at $3.50 -$4.00/kg , but the price of a 500gm on the shelf is .... I haven't bought groceries for quite a few months now.

 

You get my drift.

 

$3.50-$4.00/kg today is unscrupulous robbery and explains why Beekeepers are going broke fast.

I think most of the good beeks in NZ are good sorts, however probably too good natured to see some of what is the reality of the business.

Most large buyers/packers/exporters are also producers of honey in a very large way. The honey they produce themselves also cost as much as the honey the smaller guys and girls produce, often probably far more.

They harvest, pack and market their own honey successfully along with what they also buy in.

When they buy in at the current offered prices we serve the purpose of subsidising there own honey production costs which leads them to further profits. Very substantial profits at the cost of the smaller beek.

I don't think we will see many of the very large guys fold but some smaller beeks will of course. The space they leave behind is being filled by the large operator/buyer/packer/exporter.

Where the smaller beek persists they are crowded by the hives of the largest operators.

There is very good argument for smaller beeks to combine forces in local areas for extraction, packing and marketing/export. There are plenty of nay sayers in regard this opinion however quite a few of those have a vested interest in the current situation continuing.

Frankly, the current situation is a 'business model' for the success of the current larger buyer/packer/exporter/marketer and has nothing to do with benevolence towards the smaller beekeeper who is providing the profits.

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37 minutes ago, Ali said:

I think most of the good beeks in NZ are good sorts, however probably too good natured to see some of what is the reality of the business.

Most large buyers/packers/exporters are also producers of honey in a very large way. The honey they produce themselves also cost as much as the honey the smaller guys and girls produce, often probably far more.

They harvest, pack and market their own honey successfully along with what they also buy in.

When they buy in at the current offered prices we serve the purpose of subsidising there own honey production costs which leads them to further profits. Very substantial profits at the cost of the smaller beek.

I don't think we will see many of the very large guys fold but some smaller beeks will of course. The space they leave behind is being filled by the large operator/buyer/packer/exporter.

Where the smaller beek persists they are crowded by the hives of the largest operators.

There is very good argument for smaller beeks to combine forces in local areas for extraction, packing and marketing/export. There are plenty of nay sayers in regard this opinion however quite a few of those have a vested interest in the current situation continuing.

Frankly, the current situation is a 'business model' for the success of the current larger buyer/packer/exporter/marketer and has nothing to do with benevolence towards the smaller beekeeper who is providing the profits.

 

Quite strong opinion here but do you have any facts/evidence to back it up?  One of the only examples I can think of suggests the opposite - Comvita with three or four years of losses and having to go to the market again recently to raise more capital....

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17 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

Quite strong opinion here but do you have any facts/evidence to back it up?  One of the only examples I can think of suggests the opposite - Comvita with three or four years of losses and having to go to the market again recently to raise more capital....

Not only Comvita!!

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Airborne have always been at the lower/est end of pricing and therefore can probably sell super cheap in shops. Just look at the Apiarist Advocate a few months back to see their attitude towards beekeepers. 

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12 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

Quite strong opinion here but do you have any facts/evidence to back it up?  One of the only examples I can think of suggests the opposite - Comvita with three or four years of losses and having to go to the market again recently to raise more capital....

Don't believe that C is a good business model to compare with. I agree with @Ali about good profit taking by buyers. Also the bringing together of mid level businesses. Imagine a huge storage facility, where honey sorted and stored and possibly extracted. Managed so honey is sold at good prices. In large quantities all over the world. An administrator fee per kilo sold. Honey is sorted into a few categories and installments paid as honey sold. Say if 100 ton of pasture is sold all providers of pasture is paid a portion of that value. At moment we are working against each other. Splitting the field. 

May not get a lot more, but if the increase covers all the costs then we still have solid strength. 

Lots of options on reducing costs by scale. Drums, testing, admin, treatment, sugar....

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51 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Don't believe that C is a good business model to compare with. I agree with @Ali about good profit taking by buyers. Also the bringing together of mid level businesses. Imagine a huge storage facility, where honey sorted and stored and possibly extracted. Managed so honey is sold at good prices. In large quantities all over the world. An administrator fee per kilo sold. Honey is sorted into a few categories and installments paid as honey sold. Say if 100 ton of pasture is sold all providers of pasture is paid a portion of that value. At moment we are working against each other. Splitting the field. 

May not get a lot more, but if the increase covers all the costs then we still have solid strength. 

Lots of options on reducing costs by scale. Drums, testing, admin, treatment, sugar....

Sounds like a Co-op to me.  Have we not already been down that track.........??

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10 minutes ago, Ted said:

Sounds like a Co-op to me.  Have we not already been down that track.........??

Yes suppose so. But not initially trying to establish a packing brand. More like bulk store and distribution. I was always under the illusion that the co-op was a brand firstly. Lots of marketing and packaging cost. 

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2 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

As someone said, the local market is small and protected. 

Agree, honey only operators will die at $4. 

Think $7 a 500 in shop for entry level. Thought plenty ask more.

It's unfair to compare nz producers to large bulk producers such as Canada and Australia.

Build another shed? It is about last person standing. Riding it out. But who can do that? The smaller operators or the large ones?

I realistically don't think building another shed is affordable for anyone right now.   It seems to be a case of container cities and RMP boundaries expanded around the footprint to squeeze as much as possible without having to spend money on a total RMP site map overhaul.  It depends on the space you have on the site I guess.     Before I would have said the larger would survive, but I just don't know now.    C reporting negative earnings but in reality how much is accounting "management" for its long term benefit?   

 

I'm more a fan of accepting the price we are offered (if you are even offered a price) and moving the oldest crop (if you can)  Isn't  ANY cashflow is better than NO cashflow?   

Honey isn't perfect forever in a variable storage environment (shipping container vs temperature controlled building) and in a rustable drum.   The hot summer (no, it's nothing unusual really, experienced plenty) means that some honey stored in shipping containers longer term may will be at risk of going over acceptable levels of HMF (unless of course they are all hooked up and refrigerated which i doubt)  and drums themselves will deteriorate if condensation pools.   How many can spare the time and money to offload all the drums and inspect them every so often for deterioration and collect samples to monitor product spoilage (or not).   Maybe I am overly compliance-concerned in that respect.    Is it possible we could we reach a point where buyers might just refuse to purchase honey that was extracted and stored say 3 years ago unless it has effectively been frozen?    Holding out for a certain price is fraught with possibilities of loss along the way and selling at any price isn't a recipe for long-term success.  

Ok, yes, I was rambling but sometimes the head is assailed with thoughts. 

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Sure accept the price given. We can afford to. But many non Manuka can't. 

I can see how Beekeepers have possibly recorded honey in stock as having X value. Too satisfy banks that they have collateral. Until it's got to be sold. 

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48 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Yes suppose so. But not initially trying to establish a packing brand. More like bulk store and distribution. I was always under the illusion that the co-op was a brand firstly. Lots of marketing and packaging cost. 

Yes I hear you but distribution to where??  Sounds like your talking about a bulk commodity distribution centre - still at the mercy of the world market price (which is pretty much where we are now).

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27 minutes ago, Ted said:

Yes I hear you but distribution to where??  Sounds like your talking about a bulk commodity distribution centre - still at the mercy of the world market price (which is pretty much where we are now).

To any buyer. Difference is we beekeepers not getting hedged against each other. Accept the price could be similar to current. If an overseas buyer wants nz honey they will more likely deal with a large professional body rather than bits and pieces. It's already happening, just that the big business do the distribution of bulk honey bought cheaply from us dog paddling folk

 

Avoids a lot of duplication. Keeps beekeepers beekeeping. Sounds a lot like fonterra...lol.

Keep it simple and build from there. 

A bulk store could have the capacity to deal fermented honey also. Or blending to order. Long term..

A isle of man buyer was doing this with nz honey. We just do it from here? 

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1 hour ago, Chrisdub said:

I realistically don't think building another shed is affordable for anyone right now.   It seems to be a case of container cities and RMP boundaries expanded around the footprint to squeeze as much as possible without having to spend money on a total RMP site map overhaul.  It depends on the space you have on the site I guess.     Before I would have said the larger would survive, but I just don't know now.    C reporting negative earnings but in reality how much is accounting "management" for its long term benefit?   

 

I'm more a fan of accepting the price we are offered (if you are even offered a price) and moving the oldest crop (if you can)  Isn't  ANY cashflow is better than NO cashflow?   

Honey isn't perfect forever in a variable storage environment (shipping container vs temperature controlled building) and in a rustable drum.   The hot summer (no, it's nothing unusual really, experienced plenty) means that some honey stored in shipping containers longer term may will be at risk of going over acceptable levels of HMF (unless of course they are all hooked up and refrigerated which i doubt)  and drums themselves will deteriorate if condensation pools.   How many can spare the time and money to offload all the drums and inspect them every so often for deterioration and collect samples to monitor product spoilage (or not).   Maybe I am overly compliance-concerned in that respect.    Is it possible we could we reach a point where buyers might just refuse to purchase honey that was extracted and stored say 3 years ago unless it has effectively been frozen?    Holding out for a certain price is fraught with possibilities of loss along the way and selling at any price isn't a recipe for long-term success.  

Ok, yes, I was rambling but sometimes the head is assailed with thoughts. 

I think the main issue is not so much accept the price  and move on .....  but who is actually buying meaning full amounts of honey .....container loads ??

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15 minutes ago, jamesc said:

I think the main issue is not so much accept the price  and move on .....  but who is actually buying meaning full amounts of honey .....container loads ??

No-one it seems.   Bits and pieces here and there perhaps - piecemeal approach and potentially only picking the cream of your crop out of your stores? 

 

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The responses we've had from the big companies is that they aren't buying any of this season's honey yet. Price seems irrelevant. ... That's not really different to any other season is it ?? The best prices are always later when the Packers look at their stocks and see where the gaps are. 

We're struggling financially but sitting on our best season in terms of volume and it's mono manuka. 

It's like having money in a bank account but you've forgotten the password and aren't really sure how much is in there.

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