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  2. @Adam Boot said @Adam Boot I’ve said before on the forum that mono Manuka with low markers isn’t selling and have been basically poo pooed by more than a couple of people saying there’s plenty of demand for mono as long as it meets the standard and yet I know of multiple beekeepers who have this type of honey and no buyer. So what has happened where has the market gone how can it have basically died overnight ? since seeing my replies to your questions regarding our honey you haven’t said a word about saleability that tells me that I am right and that something has happened to the Manuka market which has pretty much killed it dead at the lower end of the scale. If this is the case I would love to know why but nobody is talking. It’s not only the guys in Northland that are feeling the pinch it’s beekeepers like us that don’t get the activity in our honey but still get Manuka that are also being affected by this new standard. Does anyone know know how to find out what tonnage of honey is shipped out of the country each month ? I agree that you honey is Mono floral Manuka. However, the Mono markets starts at UMF5+. You cannot put the UMF mark on anything under 5+. It then falls into an area where it is competing on the MGO content. It will be blended and sold as MGO30, 50, 70 or 85 multi floral. Because of the Low C4 your honey has a value to blend with other Mono also. There is nothing wrong with your honey it is just an awkward fit. No body seems to what or be able to explain HOW? How can the Co Op buy all the honey of the beekeepers at a rate above market price? Also, how will you cap the membership? As it is I do not see how you can fund the purchase of all the honey from 280 members and 113,000 hives. What if more signed up and it was 200,000 hives? The better the Co Op makes the offer the more beekeepers will want to sign up to the guaranteed sale. How the hell is the massive upfront cost being funded. Lets just seperate this into two parts. The beekeepers are to be members of a co op that purchases the honey they produce. The Beekeepers are the experts in running apiaries producing honey. Why do you want experts in beekeeping running the rest of the business - food processing, packing, logistics and marketing? If you treat this as a serious food production business creating and marketing FMCG products you will definitely not want it run by beekeepers. I would suspect that the beekeepers would want that side of the company run by experts also. In my opinion I would not pay any real concern to this. The Big C has enough major issues of it's own to worry about. Relaunching to old brands is not going to be the saviour they need. They are probably going to have a major restructure and will need to make some very dramatic and drastic changes to their current model first. Resource spent on relaunches at this point would just paint over the cracks.
  3. Today
  4. I think it depends on ones perspective. Personally I see a Co-Op or Co-Ops as a likely way forward from the bottom of the trough, as the dust settles and Beeks pick themselves up and dust themselves off Many will likely be asking, "well what now" and there will likely be a natural inclination to Herd up. It will likely be a matter of "safety in numbers" a concept that is as old as nature itself. For a start it may not be a matter of getting a better price but rather a matter of survival in an environment that could be described with words like "Predatory, Hawkish, Opportunistic, difficult".
  5. The market for bush/multi-floral crashed when MPI introduced new standards. Those honey types could no longer be blended into "Manuka". It is a supply and demand issue. Honey marketers are telling us that the international manuka market has softened as a result of the problematic introduction of the MPI rules, and a general softening as manuka is not in vogue as much and its product life cycle has matured. Those changes are a fact of a life and a company, partnership, sole trader, galactic conglomerate, trust or any other business structure will need to operate in that market. It is commendable that you are trying to get a coop up and running and really positive PR for Cercacell but again there is nothing concrete there to suggest that it will go anywhere. If there is something concrete, I'd be happy to hear about it? As to use of the money you intend to raise, my recollection is that you were all go to go and see Shane Jones for $32m, then you met with advisers, and then the next thing you need 100K to go further. It is not my intention to be negative, but realistic, and nothing that I've seen has persuaded me otherwise...
  6. @Thomas Clow Why are you speaking on Bruce's behalf Thomas I know for a fact that Bruce can speak up for himself in public. Isn't it about time he fronted up himself?
  7. My black angry Bush bee breed descends from the missionaries bees that were first introduced to Hokianga
  8. Raul Island has honeybees of probably quite old lineage and possibly even directly descended from the old English black bee but I have been unable to interest anybody in actually studying them. I certainly saw no sign of honey bees on codfish or anchor Island and I would be surprised if most of the fiordland Islands were not free of bees given the climate. I have also spent considerable time on Little barrier over the years and have never seen any bees there. Wasps used to be quite common but mysteriously seem to have either disappeared or become a lot less common.
  9. Considering that bees can fly over 5 km, then pretty unlikely.
  10. Hi, I am trying to find out if there is any offshore inland in NZ currently free of honey bees? I have read that honeybees are now found across the entire country including the Chatham and Stewart Islands. Thanks
  11. Yesterday
  12. We want people who are truly interested to contact bruce personally to get the forms to submit donations. please email bruce, bruce@ceracell.co.nz if you wish to contrbute or ask him personal direct questions in relation to the co-op We were made aware of an interested party start the give a little page. I don't see an issue with a member taking initiative to help the co-op at this stage. Michael sage is a family friend, the money is not going to be touched by the advisors....that comment is rediculous. What are the larger companies offering you? If they offerred you anything we wouldnt be in this situation in the first place. If you need to repair your car, who do you go to? When you don't have the answers to a question you go looking for someone who does. Everyone needs someones help to deal with situations that you personally have not dealt with. That is said with business as well. Mr Sage has consulted on Co-ops before and knows the challenges. So we need his advice on how in certain areas to best move forward. Where are the experts. What business experts know the beekeeping industry better than Bruce? Lecturer, he has an MBA and has been runnning businesses for more than 20 years. I don't know anyone better or morally sound than Bruce to start this venture. I think people don't understand the situation. No one knows the emails we are getting from beekeepers who are in serious hardship, people are suffering and something needs to be done. Saying a market correction is just life, this is unacceptable.
  13. Proposed New Zealand Honey Producers’ Co-op Where We Are At You may or may not know, there is a grass-roots movement underway to set up a honey producers’ co-operative in New Zealand. As the nexus of the movement, I thought I would let the wider beekeeping community know a little bit about what is happening, where we are up to, and see if you might be interested in joining the movement or maybe just helping in some tangible way. Background At Ceracell Beekeeping Supplies we are in regular contact with lots of beekeepers. Since about the middle of last year we have been getting feedback that things were not as rosy in the industry as the public believed. The messages of unhappiness, growing into despair, increased until in February this year it was very clear that many of our customers were really struggling financially. The word was that many had not sold any non-manuka honey last season, and couldn’t sell any this season as well at any price. And it wasn’t just new beekeepers feeling the financial pressure. Third generation beekeeping businesses were reporting that their banks which carried them through last year and this year were balking at extending overdrafts. The banks rightly were asking the question, that if you can’t sell your produce for two years in a row, why will it change for the coming season? At Ceracell we advertise that we are here to “help beekeepers”. Well it became pretty clear that right now “helping beekeepers” meant doing more than just selling them stuff. In April, I organised a series of meetings throughout New Zealand with the objective of finding out if the problem was nationwide, and what could be done about it. It is clear that the problem is nationwide. The problem in its most basic description came about because of the decade long frenzy surrounding manuka honey and the skyrocketing prices it was getting. Until MPI brought in the manuka honey definition, much non-manuka honey was being blended into manuka to increase volumes of that valuable specialist honey. As a result, the price of non-manuka honey got dragged up, and the inherent value of those other beautiful New Zealand honey varieties got ignored. So now blending has stopped and because there has been a decade of no significant marketing overseas of non-manuka varieties, at best honey producers can get international bulk honey prices, if it can be sold at all. But what to do about it? In talking to beekeepers, the word “co-op” kept popping up. “If only we had a co-op that could find overseas markets and build value-added brands, things would be better. At least we would know our honey would be bought. As it is, our usual private honey buyer won’t or can’t buy our honey.” At the meetings in which I met with about 300 people, there was a genuine desire to work together and help each other. The co-operative model which is widely used in New Zealand in the primary produce sector seemed to fill the criteria, so that was the starting point. I got some help from Michael Sage, a partner in the law firm, Simpson Grierson, who has expertise in co-ops. He brought on board a co-op experienced CA from the accounting firm, PwC, Justin Liddell. John Bell, a former tutor at Taratahi College and former lecturer in marketing at the University of Otago has provided valuable advice as well. What Is Happening Now? During and shortly after running the nationwide meetings I asked for people to make a verbal commitment to starting a journey towards establishing a honey producers’ co-op or some other model that would provide these primary benefits: 1. Build an organisation based on the ethics and morality of helping each other. 2. Commit to purchase the member’s honey in good years and bad years. 3. Build brands and market the honey overseas. 4. Return the added-value proceeds to the producer firstly through better gate prices and finally through dividends. 5. Provide price guidance forecasts so the producer can start their season with some idea of what they will receive for their produce at the end of the season. There are many other benefits that a co-op can provide members, but these are the main ones that beekeepers wanted from their co-op. We received that commitment from over 280 beekeepers and beekeeping businesses that together run over 113,000 beehives. The conundrum is that building a business that can do the above would take a lot of money, and most of the people drawn to the idea are currently in difficult financial circumstances. So what to do? After a very in-depth and to the point meeting with our advisors, we came up with a plan. Step one was to seek donations to set-up a trust. The trust would be instructed to begin the detailed analysis of the business environment and the international honey market with a primary objective of creating a prospectus to put to potential members. The trust, with the help of beekeepers on a steering committee would begin building the co-op, that is, the constitution and rules of operation for when it would be incorporated as a co-operative company. The trust would also prepare a cogent application to ask the Government for significant funding to carry the business for a number of years until the members were financial enough to carry it themselves. Based on their extensive experience Michael and Justin felt that the very minimum that the trust would need to do these things, was $100,000. They also believed that a firm deadline to reach that goal should be set, because letting the issue drag on for many weeks without resolution would in fact cause the momentum that has been built with the goodwill shown by so many, to be lost. So on 27 May I forwarded the documents provided by Michael, asking for donations from the 280 beekeeping businesses, looking for a total of $100,000 by 5 pm on 21 June 2019. Those willing to help will deposit their donation directly into the Simpson Grierson solicitor’s trust account. If the total isn’t reached by the deadline, all the money donated will be returned to the givers. If and when the $100,000 is reached, the trust will be set up and we will start. This would not necessarily mean a co-op would be established, as it would be necessary that significant other money would be needed, but the first hurdle would have been overcome. Progress Yes progress is sure and steady, and the desire for the co-op is as strong as ever. Many have donated and some have donated a lot of money. Will we reach the target? I think it is a 50:50 call. I do know that some beekeepers who desperately want a co-op are in such difficult financial circumstances that they truly cannot give anything. Most of those that have given to date have given more on an individual basis than I would have thought possible. Others have said they will be donating, but the finances are so tight that the timing of dispensing cash is critical for them. Whether they can free it up by the deadline, time will tell. You Can Help The reason I am writing to the wider community of beekeepers is because these beekeepers, these people with children, and employees, need this co-op. And I think the beekeeping industry needs this co-op. On the weekend I had a chance to talk with a few of the 280, and I want to share with you an insight that Karl gave me. He said the beekeeping industry will end up like the fishing industry if we don’t do something. The fishing industry is now dominated by a few large New Zealand corporates and overseas corporates who own most of the quota. The small commercial fisherman has been pushed out of the industry. If these small to medium sized commercial beekeepers—family based beekeeping businesses—are allowed to fail, the beekeeping industry in four or five years will look like the fishing industry. The opportunity for someone to start-up a one-person or two-person operation will be gone. But with a co-op designed to be the path-to-market for the smaller operator that opportunity will always be there. Big money doesn’t have to drive the smaller business out. You can help, even if you don’t think you would ever become a member of the co-op, or if you think you can’t give very much. You all know that one bee makes just one teaspoon of honey, yet each teaspoon one after another adds up to fill your drums! If each bee looked on its own contribution as not being of significance, then nothing would get done and the hive would die. It is all a matter of numbers, and the smallest of numbers makes a difference. If you think that you’d like to help these folk in even a very small way get over the line, please email me direct. I will then send you the necessary documents to make a considered decision about donating, and how to donate. Remember the deadline, or maybe better to say the “start-line” is 5 pm 21 June 2019. So don’t delay! Thanks for taking the time to read this. To get more information please contact bruce via email at bruce@ceracell.co.nz, Bruce will be able to forward you documents in order for you to donate and join if you so wish. If you wish to still write questions please go to the already open thread on the forum. I prefer to have this as a notification and advisment thread. Kindest Regards Bruce Clow For the Proposed New Zealand Honey Producers’ Co-op For Each Other, For the Future
  14. Hi Fraz, yes this information is freely available on the stats.govt website. Takes a bit of finding but it's there in great detail (per country and by HS codes). Unlike Australia's. There are no honey production/export stats available, unless you get it commissioned by the Aus Dept of Stats. I enquired and they said it would cost $620 just to start an enquiry and rise from there depending on what was required!
  15. To further complicate the domestic market issue I hear on the grapevine that Big C are going to resurrect the Holland’s and possibly Sweet Meadow brands (acquired from the previous co-op). This would make it extremely difficult for a new co-op to make any headway domestically. On the upside, I believe both brands had a reasonable export following which I assume Big C would be looking to resurrect as well thereby creating more demand for pasture type honeys.
  16. I don't want to be the pessimist but our idea of a co op to put money in the beekeepers pockets... We will be competing against prices already set by companies already racing to the bottom, correct me if I'm wrong unless we the co OP could control all honey produced instead of 10-15% how can we possibly offer a better price to the beekeeper. Of the 280 members to be how many are going to give up what they have goin domestically so the cooperative has domestic sales. Thus will be a important step in developing markets overseas by pushing the brand domestically to gain exposure. Every member to be would have to change from there brand to cooperative brand. In order to gain the exposure to attempt local sales supermarkets etc. Just throwing it out there...
  17. Yes exactly. A co-op would put the money in the beekeepers pocket rather than in the packers.
  18. Here is a link to the documentary by Sarah Height an former Otago university student. The documentary is looking closely into the use of Detector Dogs for the detection of AFB. The documentary was made in 2016 and is still highly relevant to current issue of how to detect AFB and the use the dogs.
  19. you miss the point ..... the other companies are offering squat .....so we need to move on ....
  20. We need to convert judges into hobby beekeepers, then the sentences would change!
  21. @Adam Boot said @Adam Boot I’ve said before on the forum that mono Manuka with low markers isn’t selling and have been basically poo pooed by more than a couple of people saying there’s plenty of demand for mono as long as it meets the standard and yet I know of multiple beekeepers who have this type of honey and no buyer. So what has happened where has the market gone how can it have basically died overnight ? since seeing my replies to your questions regarding our honey you haven’t said a word about saleability that tells me that I am right and that something has happened to the Manuka market which has pretty much killed it dead at the lower end of the scale. If this is the case I would love to know why but nobody is talking. It’s not only the guys in Northland that are feeling the pinch it’s beekeepers like us that don’t get the activity in our honey but still get Manuka that are also being affected by this new standard. Does anyone know know how to find out what tonnage of honey is shipped out of the country each month ?
  22. I agree. The situation seems to be that a bunch of consultants are now onboard and they've said you need some money to pay us to take this further, and hence the request for money. I don't have confidence in co-ops as a business model. I can't see how they can deliver anything more than the existing larger companies are. The 16 regional groups with $2m each as per the sales pitch interested me as that may have given the co-op a start at least, free money is always helpful, but how realistic is that? I don't really see this going anywhere. To get this off the ground you need principals with nous who don't need the input of advisers. IMO.
  23. Do you really need to be a business expert to sell something?
  24. In my opinion, if you your feasibility study is reliant on a lawyer an accountant and a lecturer then you my as well burn your $100k - Where are the business experts?
  25. I thought someone would complain 😄 . The full length of my cardboard in the front door treatment is about 10 days per rotation (out with the old, in with the new) I know probably less than optimal but I'm lazy and also think if I was a bee all tucked up in the parlour I'd be peeed off with a visitor..
  26. My impartial advice on that Pink Cat Not a good idea because the OA/GL picks up lots of water which creates a damp environment and dilutes the OA. The onl;y place in the hive that OA/GL can work properly over the full length of the treatment is within the Cluster where the moisture is controlled
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