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Hey beeks. I just wanted to start an open discussion regarding the current situation with Covid-19 and the effects its having on the beekeeping industry in NZ. Any thoughts/info on the topic, please share. E.g: Is the industry safe..? Are our jobs as commercial beekeepers secure..?
I am new to register but I am a regular browser. I have to ask the big question though What are we the industry doing to protect Manuka here and internationally? The protection of Manuka as a New Zealand brand is being left in the hands of the Government MPI or the API Association or the Manuka Honey Appellation Society (MHAS) The MPI introduced new standards as of the 5th of Jan 2018 however these only apply to packed honey Manuka for export. They do not apply to bulk export Manuka and bizarrely do not apply to the New Zealand domestic market. What does it say of our own expectations, when we are happy to ship bulk to overseas packers who work to lesser standards and regulation and then compete against our own brands produced in New Zealand. Overseas packers can use wording on labels that are prohibited in NZ - Healthy, Active, anti-bacterial etc. also they seem to use made up grading systems rather than UMF or MGO. I was sent an article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nz-manuka-what-happening-adam-boot/ it has some good points. More importantly it means I am not the only one worried about my industry and how I make a living. I am worried that if we don't do something united the bible will burst or just be taken away from us. It will be years before the MHAS make any headway protecting Manuka if ever. In the meantime our own lack of action and solidarity gives Australian jelly bush and overseas packers a helping hand. Does it not seem odd that New Zealand, the home of Manuka now has two quality standards for Manuka? One for export and a lower one for our own consumers. This just gives off the wrong message.