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What hoops do a hobbyist with say a dozen boxes for extraction/sale to a honeypacker currently have to jump through ?

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I was under the understanding that the site locations and regos is confidential to the management agency? If so the gov dont have formal access to it.

 

 

Given the fact that NZ honey is worth close on 3 times what the overseas average is overseas, we need to accept a certain amount of hoop jumping to maintain that.

 

1. All they would have to do is put a waiver on the Harvest Declaration form to allow access to site information if they need it. It's standard privacy act stuff i think.

 

2. This notice is only asking for beekeepers address and criminal record. So actually it's irrelevant in this case if they actually have access to that database. Your name is on the Harvest Declaration form - so all this is doing is making people declare their criminal history - which could go on the harvest dec as well if they wanted.

 

I think it's pretty obvious that if they really needed to figure out where a batch of honey was made they would just go to the Asurequality records which are ALREADY BEING USED.

 

3. OK @Kiwifruiter - I like you. So here is where you just volunteered to guarantee us a 30% premium on our honey. Are you prepared to personally guarantee NZ beekeepers a minimum of 30% premium on our honey? Alternatively feel free to find the government worker who will make this guarantee in writing and present it here.

 

And while we're pulling numbers out of the air - I've got a harbour bridge to sell you :).

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1. All they would have to do is put a waiver on the Harvest Declaration form to allow access to site information if they need it. It's standard privacy act stuff i think.

 

2. This notice is only asking for beekeepers address and criminal record. So actually it's irrelevant in this case if they actually have access to that database. Your name is on the Harvest Declaration form - so all this is doing is making people declare their criminal history - which could go on the harvest dec as well if they wanted.

 

I think it's pretty obvious that if they really needed to figure out where a batch of honey was made they would just go to the Asurequality records which are ALREADY BEING USED.

 

3. OK @Kiwifruiter - I like you. So here is where you just volunteered to guarantee us a 30% premium on our honey. Are you prepared to personally guarantee NZ beekeepers a minimum of 30% premium on our honey? Alternatively feel free to find the government worker who will make this guarantee in writing and present it here.

 

And while we're pulling numbers out of the air - I've got a harbour bridge to sell you :).

Ok, I dont play well with others so.... As a kiwifruit grower I wish I only had to give my name and address and fill out a harvest declaration to sell kiwifruit overseas! While at this time it is useless info it is the groundwork info to have a truly traceable food supply. If you dont like it go do some other food industry with less paperwork. If you can find one. You will not.

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What hoops do a hobbyist with say a dozen boxes for extraction/sale to a honeypacker currently have to jump through ?

 

1. You take your honey to the honey house (which holds an RMP).

 

2. You fill in the harvest declaration with your information and sign it.

Harvest Dec: http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/Apiarist_Beekeeper-Provides_Information.pdf

 

3. The honey house extracts honey, returns wets.

 

4. Honey house presents you an offer to buy the honey, or you have a buyer that picks it up from the honeyhouse.

 

If you want honey for your own use it's not on the RMP.

If you are extracting honey for local market you don't need RMP.

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1. You take your honey to the honey house (which holds an RMP).

 

2. You fill in the harvest declaration with your information and sign it.

Harvest Dec: http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/Apiarist_Beekeeper-Provides_Information.pdf

 

3. The honey house extracts honey, returns wets.

 

4. Honey house presents you an offer to buy the honey, or you have a buyer that picks it up from the honeyhouse.

 

If you want honey for your own use it's not on the RMP.

If you are extracting honey for local market you don't need RMP.

And all the steps need to be in MPIs system.... It only applies if you are exporting to high value markets. If you dont want to fill out the form sell it local. Maby if there is a problem in a market MPI want to be able to act quickly by having the info on hand on one data base?

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Ok, I dont play well with others so.... As a kiwifruit grower I wish I only had to give my name and address and fill out a harvest declaration to sell kiwifruit overseas! While at this time it is useless info it is the groundwork info to have a truly traceable food supply. If you dont like it go do some other food industry with less paperwork. If you can find one. You will not.

 

OK - so read the harvest declaration and you'll quickly see it's not just a name and address.

 

Comparing the honey industry to other industries like kiwifruit, livestock, etc is not relevant or helpful. It's apples and oranges mate ... or in this case honey and kiwifruit ...

 

btw @Kiwifruiter I love your optimism about how much the government is here to help, and they must need this information for something right? I think it's great to have a high opinion of your fellow man. Because these nameless and faceless bureaucrats must know better than those who do the real work right?

 

How about that Harbour bridge? It's shiny :)

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Comparing the honey industry to other industries like kiwifruit, livestock, etc is not relevant or helpful. It's apples and oranges mate ... or in this case honey and kiwifruit ...

 

 

How is it different? High value products being sold overseas?

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I corresponded with MPI as soon as I received notification of this 'notice' this week.

 

The information that I am sharing here comes direct from MPI. They have addressed 7 points that I have raised initially.

 

Of particular bemusement is that apparently this was put out for consultation for 6 weeks in November when beekeepers are way too busy to look at this sort of thing. Not surprising they only got 36 submissions. This raises some serious questions about their competence and understanding of the industry to start with.

 

1. Your link to forms does not actually take you to a form.

 

Please see the link below for direct link to forms:

 

Forms & templates

 

 

2. Beekeepers are already required by law to be registered for good common sense reasons. Are you now duplicating this system?

 

There is no duplication. There is no existing requirement issued under the Animal Products Act 1999 for beekeepers to be listed for the purposes of official assurance. Currently, registration is only for AFB management purposes under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It does not serve official assurance purposes under the Animal Products Act 1999. The AFB register has restricted access and is not freely available for verifiers and honey businesses to check against.

 

 

3. Beekeepers already pay a significant registration fee to keep bees. The purpose of keeping bees is to make honey.

 

New Zealand honey exporters make money by exporting to overseas markets. MPI is entrusted under the Animal Products Act 1999 to facilitate access to overseas markets. The governments of most of these overseas markets have an agreement with the New Zealand Government for the provision of official assurances that honey being exported to them are fit for purpose, meet domestic standards and any additional market-specific standards. They want regulatory oversight of the movement of products in the supply chain so they can be confident that our government is not blindly handing out assurances for products it cannot trace. Auditors from overseas markets regularly audit New Zealand’s regulatory system for export.

 

 

4. The form that I did eventually find is basically just asking for address details and a declaration regarding criminal activity.

 

Regulatory oversight for market access purposes (as explained above) requires MPI, as the regulator, to have a level of oversight of players in the export chain. Knowing a beekeeper’s name/business name, and address is important for that purpose.

 

 

5. If you just need a declaration of criminal activity - why not just do that as part of the beekeepers' annual disease return and use the same system?

 

Refer to answer in 2 above.

 

 

6. What is the problem that 'the notice' is trying to fix in the industry?

 

Refer to the answer in 3 above.

 

 

7. When was this change proposed, who proposed it, and why was it proposed?

 

The proposals were subject to 6 weeks public consultation from 5 November 2015 to 17 December 2015. 36 submissions were received from industry, the majority of which supported the listing requirements.

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MPI want to be able to act quickly

 

hmmm are you sure "MPI" and "act quickly" should be in the same sentence?

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How is it different? High value products being sold overseas?

 

Why would you present such an argument? Are you serious?

 

It is not fair to bring other industry to the table in this discussion as it's just not relevant, nor should beekeepers be expected to understand the quirks of other industry. It just so happens that I also have worked in kiwifruit, and have experience in a number of primary industries ... so I am astounded at your question.

 

Reading between the lines - you are primarily a kiwifruit grower, and want other industries to have as much nonsense to put up with as you have had in the kiwifruit industry? @Kiwifruiter - I like you ... but the kiwifruit industry problems are not our fault ... please don't try to punish us. Please join with us to fight this MPI over-reach

 

Growing kiwifruit involves the use of a lot of toxic sprays, and is in itself a medium where pests, bacteria, and disease can grow. Sprays are applied directly to the product within a short time before harvest.

 

Honey is naturally preserved.

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5 November 2015 to 17 December 2015.

 

yup right in the middle of honey madness

 

it has been said more then once elsewhere and at various times that honey shouldnt even come under the animal products catagory

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Why would you present such an argument? Are you serious?
Yes. Shouldbt be hard to answer if its so stupid.

It is not fair to bring other industry to the table in this discussion as it's just not relevant, nor should beekeepers be expected to understand the quirks of other industry. It just so happens that I also have worked in kiwifruit, and have experience in a number of primary industries ... so I am astounded at your question.

I work in beekeeping and kiwifruit and see them as an equally good product being sold overseas. I am not intending to 'bring another industry' in a 'make them put up with the same BS' kind of way. I am bringing it in to show that there are other industries with significantly more paper trail than beekeeping and if we want to retain a high price for our honey we need to suck it up.

Reading between the lines - you are primarily a kiwifruit grower, and want other industries to have as much nonsense to put up with as you have had in the kiwifruit industry? @Kiwifruiter - I like you ... but the kiwifruit industry problems are not our fault ... please don't try to punish us. Please join with us to fight this MPI over-reach

As long as you view it as 'problems' you will fail. Overseas markets want this kind of regulation. It isnt just MPI wanting to put their finger in it. The world doesnt need us or our products, We need the world.

Growing kiwifruit involves the use of a lot of toxic sprays, and is in itself a medium where pests, bacteria, and disease can grow. Sprays are applied directly to the product within a short time before harvest.

Really? Like?

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@Kiwifruiter - well done on side tracking the issue here.

 

I made a mistake in responding to your bait question of the difference between kiwifruit and honey.

 

Let's just stick to the facts.

 

Fact still remains that point of origin tracking for all honey products within the RMP system exists already.

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@Kiwifruiter - well done on side tracking the issue here.

 

Let's just stick to the facts.

 

Fact still remains that point of origin tracking for all honey products within the RMP system exists already.

Mod, Could we have a new thread so Dal can explain how kiwifruit uses a lot of toxic sprays and etc? That statement is one that needs to be backed.

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All we need to do is find a precedent where data obtained under one piece of legislation is subsequently shared under another law, and present this to MPI as a way forward.

 

 

Mod, Could we have a new thread so Dal can explain how kiwifruit uses a lot of toxic sprays and etc? That statement is one that needs to be backed.

Start one yourself !

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Mod, Could we have a new thread so Dal can explain how kiwifruit uses a lot of toxic sprays and etc? That statement is one that needs to be backed.

 

Nope. Move on and don't take the bait;)

There has been some good debate about this MPI topic, so keep it going with constructive conversation and we all can enjoy the topic.

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I have tracked down the following ministers to contact about this.

 

National:

 

Primary Industries

Associated Ministers

 

 

 

Labour:

 

Damien O'Connor

MP for West Coast Tasman

 

Spokesperson for Primary Industries

 

Meka Whaitiri

MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti

 

Associate Primary Industries Spokesperson

 

Email addresses as follows:

 

n.guy@ministers.govt.nz

j.goodhew@ministers.govt.nz

damien.oconnor@parliament.govt.nz

tairawhiti@parliament.govt.nz

 

For the record - this 'notice' doesn't directly affect our company, as we are already involved in the RMP process. It only directly affects those who are supplying honey to an RMP. However it will indirectly affect us when we have to make sure compliance is achieved in other areas.

 

I don't think that this 'notice' is fair to those beekeepers who just want to make honey and supply it to the honeyhouse. Every honeyhouse will demand RMP compliant honey. Moves like this also make it harder for those trying to get started in business, and this is a duplication of government databases anyway.

 

Please email these ministers to request an immediate retraction of 'the notice'. We need to make some noise about this at a high level, and fast if we hope to get this notice sorted out.

 

Feel free to use this standard text I have put together here, and modify it to suit or just send it as is.

 

Dear Nathan,

 

I write to you today as you are listed as the Minister of Primary Industry.

 

You may or may not be aware of the completely unnecessary red tape that your ministry has introduced this week.

 

I urge you to immediately order the MPI to retract the 'MPI Beekeepers Listing Notice' due to inadequate consultation. I suggest to you that the gross negligence shown by the MPI throughout this process is at best incompetent, and at worst unlawful.

 

MPI claim to have subject the proposals to 6 weeks public consultation from 5 November 2015 to 17 December 2015. 36 submissions were received from industry, which is embarrassingly low.

 

Please consider the following points:

 

1. Putting forward new rules aimed at beekeepers for submission during the busiest time of year was not wise, and by itself invalidates the process. Most beekeepers would be working 80-hour weeks at this time of year and would not have anticipated such underhanded timing.

2. I do not know of any beekeeper who was consulted with respect to this notice. This is a complete surprise to the industry.

3. How many of the 36 submissions were from beekeepers who would actually be affected by this notice?

4. MPI have not disclosed who decided to sign off on this notice.

5. Beekeepers are already required to be registered with Asurequality. All apiary sites are by law required to be registered with Asurequality, and this information is already used to track all hive products.

6. It is already possible to track all honey products in the RMP system back to their origin.

 

MPI should not have the power to force such a major change on an industry with just 6 weeks consultation at the wrong time of year, and with inadequate levels of submission. This is a gross over reach and I formally request you retract the 'MPI Beekeepers Listing Notice' immediately and order an investigation into how this over-reach was able to occur.

 

Kind Regards

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It is not fair to bring other industry to the table in this discussion as it's just not relevant, .......

 

Growing kiwifruit involves the use of a lot of toxic sprays, and is in itself a medium where pests, bacteria, and disease can grow. Sprays are applied directly to the product within a short time before harvest.

 

Honey is naturally preserved.

how other primary food industries are run is quite relevant.

 

this whole idea that honey is a "safe food" is quite misleading.

even the judges at the conference expressed some concern of the amount of entries they failed due to CFU count.

we have had someone on here that had lead detected in their honey.

there is concern at present over the amount of mite treatment showing up in the honey.

there is the prosecution of the company who was adding DHA to their honey.

we have the exact same issues other primary food industries have.

 

the simple reason i'm not concern to much with this regulation is this is simply the start.

as the industry gets bigger and worth more, there is always an increase in red tape.

that may be very generalized but the red tape will always be there.

now the industry has the spotlight on it, get used to it, work with it.

 

if you think this little bit of red tape is bad then its time to move on.

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there is the prosecution of the company who was adding DHA to their honey.

Where was this ?

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Hey @tristan

 

How does the 'MPI Beekeepers listing notice' address any of the points you've raised?

 

Can you at least acknowledge that it doesn't?

 

Can you acknowledge that point of origin tracking already exists?

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I agree with @Dal, it doesn't matter whether you think more red tape is enevitable because that's beside the point.

 

The point is the information MPI need to trace the honey back to the producer is already in the system and they already have access to it.

 

This is a case of double dipping pure and simple

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Well yes, but I didn't realise there was a prosecution, because I didn't realise synthetic DHA could be identified in honey

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@Dal thank you for all your commentary on this issue. Yes it's annoying (being polite) when with some forethought the government agencies involved in the industry and already hold beekeepers data couldn't work out a more effective solution other than slug beekeepers to create a register of data that is already exists within one of the organisations, then keep slugging them annually to keep the data current.

From what's been explained here, it's already possible to provide tracibility on the origins of honey so in my mind it's just clumsy and lazy to take the approach MPI have instigated without exploring fully how to achieve a register without adding costs to the industry. Duplicating the collection of data because of seperate Acts that govern the industry just seems wrong to me. There is simply no competition for the MPI to have to sharpen their performance against.

While I am on the topic if the MPI is concerned over criminal pasts of beekeepers why is another government agency teaching criminals in our justice system how to beekeep.

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Okay, so playing devil's advocate. If the Asurequality apiary database was shared with MPI for the purpose of tracing honey back to specific locations... what effect might that have on compliance with the AFB PMP?

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