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Rob's BP

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Rob's BP last won the day on March 21

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About Rob's BP

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    Honey Marketer

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  1. Expect it will be posted here, https://kiwimana.co.nz/category/podcast/
  2. Madsci, I've worked and sold honey from both sides of the Tasman, and led market research including many focus groups in several countries that included NZ, Australian honeys and other international honeys. The consumer sales and feedback responses to Australian leptospermum, Jarrah, Marri etc. were very negative. On a scale of 1-4, with 1 being the best, Australian leptospermum was a solid 4 in terms of organoleptic factors, with memorable comments such as 'smells like a cowshed' and something about wet gumboots. FWIW, NZ Manuka was generally rated a 3 out of 4 for organoleptic factors. It's no surprise Aus Leptospermum needs to piggyback off NZ Manuka. It was not viable otherwise.
  3. A well written article here, which helps answer the frequent question: is there any difference between NZ and Aus Manuka? It also makes and validates the point that Australians shouldn't be using the term Manuka when describing their leptospermum honey. UMFHA Understanding Leptosperumum Article.pdf
  4. Several years ago I was told Aussie produced 500MT pa of leptospermum. There will have been a lot unharvested that they have and can expand into. Overall NZ is close to maximising the available wild harvest yield i.e. trees, whereas Aussie will have much more potential wild harvest volume growth. So who knows what their ceiling is.
  5. This may be of interest re. the types, activity, and locations in Australia of honey types commonly known as Manuka Honey, Australian Manuka Honey etc. Source: Capilano Picked up on one of my trips, probably one re West Australian active honeys And one more attachment, of common non-Leptospermum sources i.e. that probably get mixed into Aus Manuka thereby extending and diluting it.
  6. What I've heard is that the standard is not a scientific standard, rather there were political considerations applied. The resulting standard has decimated those with the highest UMF (which means very high quality/purity manuka - not saying that UMF/MGO is the only definition of Manuka purity, but it's certainly the most obvious one), and should therefore have been relatively better for other production regions. Seems MPI/Govt wanted a standard that would level the geographic playing field rather than favour the north at the expense of the south as UMF/MGO does. So has relatively favoured the south at the expense of the north. = redistribution of income (sidebar: sounds very consistent with what this govt wants to do with taxation and social welfare) however by doing so they've shrunk the value/size of the pie for all.
  7. Earlier in this thread (and others) there was talk of forming a Honey Co-op and the pros & cons: for those interested, have a read of today's well-researched and written article by Brian Gaynor https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12219775 Yes, some will say that it's written about a different industry, but a lot of what's written is applicable to co-ops in general e.g. "Co-operatives that have evolved into limited liability companies are generally more profitable and more successful" and "Co-operatives have an inherent conflict between the desire of farmers to maximise their short-term milk revenue and the need for long-term investment in value-added products. The high short-term milk payout argument usually wins and, as a result, dairy co-operatives have a strong focus on low-margin commodity products rather than high-value-added products." Food for thought for those who are/were interested
  8. 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.
  9. @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.
  10. Hi CraBee, MPI and Govt significantly hurt the industry. Their delay after delay to publish their standard meant the whole industry was on hold for ~1-2 years. Then MPI came out with a standard that wasn't a standard i.e. got modified. Uncertainty over product status meant buyers weren't confident, demand decreased, product stockpiled, prices dropped. This plus the extra and long drawn out attention meant news and uncertainty filtered out to all and sundry, affecting retailer and consumer confidence, therefore decreasing demand and pricing. Lastly re. the standard, I think we're all agreed now that it is not accurate enough. Conventional thinking is: Only Manuka honey has DHA/MGO. Only the best and/or purest Manuka honey has the highest MGO (containing anything else would dilute it down). So how can much of the highest MGO Manuka honey not pass MPI's standard? Something wrong with the standard that's what. So beeks that used to get top $ for top MGO now get much, much less for it. Govt should have just done what the now Deputy PM said before the election "Just adopt the UMFHA standard", quick, simple, scientific, already adopted by 80% of the Manuka industry. Support this rather than erode confidence in Manuka, UMF and the industry. Poor weather over the past 3 years, and overstocking has resulted in reduced hive yields, this and the preceding point have been a double whammy. So, overall the gloss has gone off the industry. It is less not more than it was. By trying to 'help' it become a $1.2b industry, MPI/Govt's help actually helped it go backwards, certainly in the short term. Agree they had to set or support a standard, but... As for consumers and markets. In general, there isn't the hysteria/mystique/intrigue that there once was when it was the latest, new/hot thing and (some of) the rich just had to have it. But on the other hand, Manuka has become more widely accepted and written about as factual by more and more in the mass media/lifestyle publications/social media. So it is trickling down from the richest towards those who are well off. We're recently seeing Manuka start to get acceptance and distribution into large format retailers in the States, so taking it's availability and awareness (but not price) to another level, and reducing reliance on Asia, especially China. Awareness, distribution and availability has spread out down the wealth triangle. Australian (and others in future?) "Manuka" is an issue. They can plant/grow/harvest much more leptospermum than we can. Theirs tastes worse than ours does. If allowed to piggyback off NZ's, with very loose standards both of definition and what they write on labels, different taste, higher MGO (in some cases), higher volume, it's not good for us. Let's support and hope UMFHA's Mānuka Honey Appellation Society's efforts starting several years ago succeed. This would result in protection, higher value, demand and prestige for NZ Manuka. So overall we're in a different phase of product life cycle and market maturity.
  11. Re. the many references in this thread to the MPI stuffup...before the election Winston Peters said "New Zealand First would scrap "MPI's wrecking ball," apologise to the entire industry for National's stuff-up, and adopt Unique Manuka Factor asap." Then he got elected as Deputy PM and...he's done the exact opposite! As MP for Northland, you'd think he'd be particularly interested in helping this industry. Time to step up Winston [and no I'm not playing party politics. Just disappointed the one politician who said he would sort this out, and has/had the power and opportunity to sort it out hasn't. Instead he adopted or accepted what he called a stuff up]
  12. Which is why it's often called "Oligo", and one brand was calling it "mini Oligo". Maybe try creating a product ad like this Mini Oligo Bifidus ad
  13. Hmmm, I take issue with the phrase and/or thinking that Honeydew has "never been promoted". Comvita created a monofloral SKU and featured the naturally occurring oligosaccharides (Oligo's were a popular thing in Asia at the time), gave it a good chance but it never took off and is sadly no longer with us...
  14. Shows the results one can draw from incorrect data. It's that Airborne graph with estimated production of almost 30,000 tonnes that has played into his hobby horse topic of over supply leading to market crash. Secondly, saying that Manuka prices could drop by a minimum of 50%. For those who have experienced a huge price drop of non-Manuka honeys, how would you like another price drop of at least 50% on the Manuka honey too! If that happened we'd never see the current prices ever again. Rather than some doing very well, and many doing well, NZ beekeeping would become little more than a subsistence industry. No, we do not want that phrase of his to gain circulation in media and on social media. There are other points that are incorrect, but those are the two biggies IMO.
  15. Greetings all, The economist and analyst Rodney Dickens has published an erroneous opinion piece yesterday that draws some real scare mongering extrapolations and statements. I won't list them or link the piece because we don't want them to get around. If they do get picked up by the media and get further amplified, it would be catastrophic to those involved in any way with the Manuka industry. Per his request, I've emailed him directly about this requesting the piece to be removed and rewritten with insiders' help. Feel free to search it out and also email him directly. I'd include his email address here but the mods will probably remove it. This is a potentially damaging opinion piece that should be removed and rewritten with accuracy.
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