Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Bushy

  1. The only law that will solve all these issues, is the natural and inevitable law of attrition. The major players invented a world of greed where now every farmer and wannabe beekeeper feels entitled to a share of a created pie, despite all logic or common sence saying this does not work. Three years ago I was asked to consult on a commercial manuka planting proposition as I had no bees in the area. It took me less than 5 minutes to tell them not to bother. There were six seperate landowners within 2km of planting block, with two of them of 1ha in size. I told them each land owner could legally put as many hives on their land as they pleased, and planted block, if it produced honey, would be swamped by 1000's of other bees. The funny (or sad) thing is planting did not go ahead, but now almost every property has max bees on them. No crops and bees suffering, but I still do not want any laws introduced to combate greed and stupidity.
  2. NZ has had co-op or single desk selling for most of the last 100 years with the PPMD morphing into the HMA which was finally dismantled In the 70's. Add to this the Honey Co-Op based out of Timaru that lasted 50 years. You could also argue the major players such as Arataki, Airborne Honey, Pure NZ Honey, and now Midlands are defacto co-ops as those companies have large loyal supply bases. No the problem we have is we now produce three times more honey than we have done in the history of Beekeepeing in NZ, and we blindly expect the existing sellers to work harder to move bigger volumes of something not high on many consumers wish list. If a new co-op can create a brand new market then hats off lets go, but if it is only going to displace existing product in an existing market, then not so exciting
  3. Very interesting report @Adam Boot. Thanks. Sorry, while you don't deserve a 'but' I need to add one. The unfortunate side of chasing the high value/low volume side of any product, is what happens to the remaining volume, and what effect it has on an industry. For the last ten years the major players have been telling the world if it isn't Manuka, it's not worth eating. They were so successful with this message, that when MPI created a standard that only allowed a small% of product to meet the "new" standard, who on earth would touch the rest of the honey produced in NZ. While in no way am I blaming your company Adam, you are continuing the message. It is an interesting discussion point as to who is most to blame for our industry situation. The exporter who created the hype of endless riches for anything related to Manuka, or the producer who blindly took their greed and produced endless quantities of a product they knew was not Manuka. Now I know it can take years to develop new products/markets, but my question to you Adam is fairly simple. With your market knowledge, is there any chance of creating a sustainable international market for 10000T of native bush flavoured non Manuka honey in next two years that can pay a living return of a minimum $6-$9kg ex gate. Not saying can you do it, just is it realistic. With near a million hives, this surplus is growing every year, and if your answer is maybe, then the false hope many are relying on at the moment is not going to pay the bills. NOTE: Because we all know Manuka varies in quality and quantity every year, your top % Manuka may well disappear if the producer is stuck with their failed Manuka every third year.
  4. Probably from us. I better pay some money so you can private message me. As an aside, I always thought Rata crystallised very quickly, but never extracted any.
  5. I wouldn't swap that experiance for a truck load of Manuka eight days a week. Might not pay the bills, but Pure magic.
  6. More like a small hill. Its a great place to eat your lunch and a massive bonus of no cell phone coverage, but really tough on crops. Three years ago a -5 frost 1st week of January killed all the flowers less than a week into harvest. Last year an extreme heat wave stopped flow like a knife mid January, and this year it didn't rain for three months so flowers stopped producing after a week. And honestly I don't give a toss about those problems as money has never been my motivator as I love the environment and dealing with the various crews working the farms up there. Its been a while since I had a decent feed of Rata so we might be able to swap.
  7. Only found out you were on gate after I got home. Disappointed I couldn't catch up. Tried last week but you had gone home. I don't need an excuse for a coffee if you are ever passing home base.
  8. Locally we have always tried to practice "No blame No shame" to AFB and this has worked well among the many like minded beekeepers where strange events/outbreaks randomly have happened over last 30 years. Sadly this has broken down in recent times mainly from so many new entrants in area that do not want to participate in our local social systems, and a lack of a National AFB push to have local operators directly involved in AFB inspections/diseasathons/information type days. Yes there are the operators that deliberately do not manage their AFB (why is always a mystery to me) and the new enforcement policy is to be praised, but most AFB is accidental and needs the helping touch and big sticks and financial penalties will potentially do more harm. I know it is a really hard balancing act, but the shift towards viewing AFBPMP as an auditing document is wrong IMO.
  9. John the next step will be determined Monday when results are announced but it has been clearly stated by all groups that a type of research levy will be on the table. You continually confuse this vote as a levy on research vote, while the rest of us have seen this vote as a greater industry administration vote. The two should never have been put together.
  10. Had the privilege of meeting Mr Stratford a few times in his early days and yes he was an amazing man, and had all the values that made our industry great. Sadly the modern corporatised Comvita is a shadow of what he saw as his vision. You will never be "the shinys peasant" unless you want to as you can always say NO, and if you really are working in partnership, saying NO soon develops into another option. Been there, done that.
  11. This is not completely directed at you @Kiwifruiter but to everyone who is jumping on the "bag"' honey exporter/marketer bandwagon. Before NZ tripled the volume of hives, we always needed to export one third of our production to keep prices stable. We now have three times the honey, and NZ honey consumption per capita is actually falling, primarily because of price and anti sugar brigade. So we need companies to get on planes, and invest many many dollars at all levels of supply chain to solve our over supply problem. Yes some rules have changed (right or wrong) but even before manuka rules changed a lot of honey was being produced that had no or limited market access because of flavour/floral type. Whose fault is that. Beekeeper or honey exporter. Anyone can put honey in a pot and sell it in NZ at some level, but unless your product is actually expanding the NZ market, all you are doing is shuffling the deck chairs, so you win, but someone else loses. Solves nothing even in short term. Getting new products or developing new markets overseas can take years, and a really big problem for exporters is having reliable suppliers. So start developing really strong repor with honey exporters/marketers, and work together with your out of spec honey to brainstorm new options. Bagging them as parasites or not working hard enough to sell your honey mountain at higher than world market prices, is really counterproductive. A lot of business big and small sell honey in amazing places around NZ and across the world, but it is never cheap, never easy, and never guaranteed, and definately never never stress free. Swap hats and make a honey exporter your best friend, and over a drink understand their position on world markets and options.
  12. This is as close to what I would call old fashioned raw honey, without the bee stings, so we'll done. Already have this size operation in my long term plan, but not quite yet.
  13. Thanks for the replies. IMO anything below 48deg C is normal processing to get through gravity filter bags and at this temp, no damage is done to any honey weather creamed or liquid. I really don't want to add the word Raw to my labels, but under sales pressure in some markets from those who do have Raw on their labels. These other competitors are doing nothing wrong, but it is getting tiresome explaining to customers there is no difference, knowing they probably don't believe me. Not the biggest issue on the planet, just trying to decide what to do.
  14. I am curious to know what the current definition of RAW honey is. Traditionally raw honey was unfiltered and was defined by stuff (wax, bees bits etc) floating on top. Very simple. In 2019 a lot of jars have "Raw" added to labels and customers are saying they only want raw honey, not ours because, ours has been processed by machines in a factory. That comment could have been fine except I knew I had processed and packed the other persons honey. Both honeys were identical from start to finish, but the word "raw" made perception different with consumer. We do not heat treat any honey, and to be honest, very few Beekeepers/honey processors in NZ do these days, so is all honey raw. What is our definition.
  15. Unless constitutional law has suddenly changed, "newly elected board members" only become official seat holders at the end of an AGM, so any vote held at the AGM will be carried out under the watch of incumbent board members. Unless there is something I am really missing, it will be impossible for new captured levy payers to vote for 2019 board members, as they are not members until levy money is paid. Apinz rules state, levy increase can only happen at AGM by majority vote. If you are now stating today, Apinz have changed your written rule to now include a weighted proxy vote for that AGM, then great, but dont pretend it has existed prior to now. Hey I don't write your rules, I just read whats in front of us to try and make intelligent voting decisions.
  16. With all due respect you had better go and read your own rules. I did not say the board could increase the levy, I said a majority vote at the AGM is required. Your rules clearly state AGM and not postal vote or any other means, just vote at AGM. As has been stated by ApiNZ and from your rules, the first opportunity to have this vote will be the 2020 AGM. You can apologise any time you like
  17. Thanks @Ali. I didn't say I would stop reading the posts. If I see misleading BS or correct argument being dumped on, it will be impossible for me to stand by and do nothing, I promise. But I have voted and have some other jobs to do. Stick to your guns as 98.5% of your concerns and arguments are spot on.
  18. To the relief of many I am sure, I am making this my last posting on levy matters until after the vote is announced, as I do not think I have anything else to say. My views are now well known, and while I find the current situation very sad, I am actually very confident for the future, based on one simple fact. The NBA that formed in 1913 and lasted 100 years, was actually the third attempt from the industry of the time to build a primary administrative group. Practise can make perfect. My last two comments are. 1) Please everyone vote so we can get a clear manadate one way or the other. 2) The option in front of us is just one idea from a small group that has pushed hard. However, our industry is made up of some incredibly smart people, so if we feel we want something different, be confident in yourselves to know we can achieve anything, and any structure we are happy to pass onto the next generation. All the pieces exist, it is just a matter of putting transparency and integrity into the mix, and within two years we could have multifaceted industry representation that allows individual choice. Catch you all on the other side.
  19. Well im going to leave and watch a game of rugby. iMO the ApiNZ administrative structure is already in place and all employment and management contracts will be well and truly locked up before any new levy voted board members get anywhere near the board table in 2020. My favourite program a few years back was "Yes Minister". You can change the board (politicians) but you can't change the bureaucrats. I would like to change the structure before we give them $2 million dollars so my vote is still NO
  20. Well you had better be organising a posy for the 2020 ApiNZ AGM as I am sure you know from reading their rules that they only need a majority vote at that AGM to pass cost increase
  21. This is pointless in 2019 as only existing ApiNZ members can stand and vote. If levy is passed, it will take to mid year for legal framework to be in place and levy payers will only become official members when money is paid which has the first deadline of March 31st 2020. Newly elected board members under a new levy voter system will only become official after the 2020 AGM, which incidentally is about an hour after ApiNZ can officially take their first vote on increasing the levy from 10to 15 cents
  22. No the current "healthy debate" will have no effect on people standing or not. What is at stake is designing the structure that allows effective and inclusive participation right from local groups/branches/regions through to your board rep. Your Hub might work, but generally there is a complete disconnect from ApiNZ to most regions.
  23. Of all the things I am not happy about, board elections are not one of them. It will be the 2020 election before levy payers could put their name forward, but democratically everyone can throw their hat in the ring. That is healthy, but sad reality is getting people willing to put their hand up after initial hype wears off is very difficult. Eventually the balance often then swings to larger players who have extra staff or finances to cover time away at meetings.
  24. Been away two days and see you have racked up some serious colum inches on this topic. Got a serious question for you. You continually state you are not happy with ApiNZ but change will only happen from within on a yes vote. What are the issues or areas you are not happy about with ApiNZ and want changed. Not arguing wether your method is right or wrong, just wondering if we have the same issues.
  25. I will respectfully agree to disagree on your comment about NZ Beekeeping is not being a valid alternative, but to achieve what you propose requires an administrative structure and an inclusive mentality that does not exist within Apinz. Yes regardless of vote outcome, change will evolve, and only time will tell if this is positive or negative, but sometimes to stop bad behavior, you do need to raise your voice. We will work together on the otherside, and if we were joint Apinz CEO I am sure we would sort all this out in six/12 months, but we are being forced to have these discussions during a vote, and that is the problem.
  • Create New...