Comvita believes the interim guidelines for Manuka honey which have been released today by MPI, are a step in the right direction to bring much needed discipline to the New Zealand Manuka honey industry.

Our CEO, Brett Hewlett says, “We appreciate the approach that MPI have taken. We will however, reserve judgement on the ability of these interim guidelines to rein in the industry cowboys. Parts of the industry work outside of the recognised UMF® standard or use other number systems, which leads to confusion amongst consumers and regulators.”

“In the absence of good clear industry wide agreed standards and a Government agency like MPI enforcing them, it falls upon well established brands such as Comvita and credible industry players such as those represented by the UMF® quality standard, to portray the quality attributes of Manuka honey.”

“The current benchmark industry standard for Manuka is the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF®) quality mark. UMF® is a licensed trademark used by over 40 registered New Zealand-based honey producers who have signed up to a voluntary and audited quality standard administered by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) of New Zealand. The UMF® grading system has been in use for almost 20 years.”

“Comvita has built a global reputation over 40 years for delivering products of the highest quality to our consumers around the world. We’ve been exporting Manuka honey to the UK and Asia for over 20 years and have repeatedly proven by independent analysis to be true to label.” “We are committed to ongoing discussions with MPI as well as participating in the research needed to further develop the interim guidelines.”

MPI Q&A: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food/food-safety/manuka-honey/manuka-honey-questions-andanswers