Fake Manooky in the spotlight again

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jenkinsbrynmair

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
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Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Just saw this online. Interesting stuff but, as the whole 'Unique Manuka Factor' was invented Pseudo scientific mumbojumbo devised on the spur of the moment before a marketing meeting, I'm not really surprised that they have rejected anything outside their 'school'

https://www.foodnavigator.com/Artic...n-uk-and-us-all-non-nz-brands-failed-the-test
There are logical things, that makuna pollen is found in honey should be essential to affirm that said product is commercialized.
The fact that there are honeys with more HMF than allowed is also significant.
 
I find this paragraph both shocking and unsurprising at the same time:

"A total of 82% failed the CODEX quality requirement of <40mg/kg HMF (Hydroxymethylfurfural), 60% failed naturally occurring chemical 4-HPLA tests, and 80% contained no detectable leptospermum scoparium DNA. UMFHA found that 32% failed the potency label claim, which is importance since methylgoxal (MGO) – the ingredient within mānuka honey associated with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties – typically decreases during the product shelf life."

Coming from an organisation with a vested interest though, it's tricky to be sure what information we can reliably extrapolate from the article as written. For example, does "sold in the UK and US" mean that the examples are all sold in both countries, or just sold in one or the other?

Assuming that a significant number were sold in the UK it might be hard to avoid the conclusion that the vendors (supermarkets mainly, I'd guess) really couldn't give a tinker's cuss about whether what they're selling is actually what is on the label, and if they don't care about honey why would we think they cared about anything else? One might perhaps suggest that they view the potential expense of being taken to court over the issue as an acceptable cost of doing business.

James
 
Just saw this online. Interesting stuff but, as the whole 'Unique Manuka Factor' was invented Pseudo scientific mumbojumbo devised on the spur of the moment before a marketing meeting, I'm not really surprised that they have rejected anything outside their 'school'

https://www.foodnavigator.com/Artic...n-uk-and-us-all-non-nz-brands-failed-the-test
Gee...if you read that and take it as gospel then you are swallowing a marketing campaign.

You ned to realise that industry (NZ Beekeeping/packing) is in the deepest of deep trouble. For a long time they have been trying to keep all packing of NZ Manuka inside the country. To say ALL brands from outside the country fail is pushing it pretty far. I know packers and friends who operate under very severe criteria and take it direct from the drums supplied certified in NZ and pack it 100% pure as it came in under very strict audit procedures. What went in the jar is *exactly* what came out of the drum. If that honey fails it would fail even before it left NZ. But the fact is it does NOT fail. This is a pretty transparent attempt to push you to buying only THEIR product. Nobody really in the know will pay any attention to this.

That's not to say there are no duff brands out there however...but the attempt to persuade you that ALL non NZ packed brands are inferior or even fraudulent while all NZ brands in their association are whiter than white is just nonsense to make sales go through their own members.
 
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I find this paragraph both shocking and unsurprising at the same time:

"A total of 82% failed the CODEX quality requirement of <40mg/kg HMF (Hydroxymethylfurfural), 60% failed naturally occurring chemical 4-HPLA tests, and 80% contained no detectable leptospermum scoparium DNA. UMFHA found that 32% failed the potency label claim, which is importance since methylgoxal (MGO) – the ingredient within mānuka honey associated with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties – typically decreases during the product shelf life."

According to all the info I have had from friends in the trade the levels actually go UP in storage, at least early in its life. They could (previously at least) sit on stock in the shed and its value rose. All change now though..........its value has crashed and now without a high MGO rating it is cheaper than heather. Blood on the carpets time.

Coming from an organisation with a vested interest though, it's tricky to be sure what information we can reliably extrapolate from the article as written. For example, does "sold in the UK and US" mean that the examples are all sold in both countries, or just sold in one or the other?
Does not matter. Its the first sentence that contains the meat. Its highly dubious.
 
Gee...if you read that and take it as gospel then you are swallowing a marketing campaign.

You ned to realise that industry (NZ Beekeeping/packing) is in the deepest of deep trouble. For a long time they have been trying to keep all packing of NZ Manuka inside the country. To say ALL brands from outside the country fail is pushing it pretty far. I know packers and friends who operate under very severe criteria and take it direct from the drums supplied certified in NZ and pack it 100% pure as it came in under very strict audit procedures. What went in the jar is *exactly* what came out of the drum. If that honey fails it would fail even before it left NZ. But the fact is it does NOT fail. This is a pretty transparent attempt to push you to buying only THEIR product. Nobody really in the know will pay any attention to this.

That's not to say there are no duff brands out there however...but the attempt to persuade you that ALL non NZ packed brands are inferior or even fraudulent while all NZ brands in their association are whiter than white is just nonsense to make sales go through their own members.
I always wonder how much comes from Australian manuka rather than the NZ stuff.

Glad to hear heather has the edge, superior honey IMO. Including for wounds.
 
Why, out of interest?

James
I hope ITLD advises but I was just thinking the other day how crowded the beekeeping scene might be there. Numbers may have dropped there recently, but I think they have had around a million hives and about five million people. UK has about 270 thousand hives (is that right?) and a population of about 67 million. Imagine having 13 million hives in the UK? Obviously it's not such a simple equation, but what price could you sell honey for with those numbers, even if the flora could support it?
 
I'd be surprised if the flora could support it here. Thirteen million would average about fifty hives per square kilometre I think. I just can't see that working. From memory New Zealand is much the same area as the UK, so four hives per square km in a landscape far less impacted by people.

It seems a shame if the NZ honey industry is struggling overall though. I know someone who went out there four or five years ago and spent six months working for a honey operation and had an amazing time. I think he was asked if he'd go back on a more permanent basis, but I think family stuff meant he chose not to. In hindsight perhaps that turned out to be a fortunate turn of events.

James
 
I always wonder how much comes from Australian manuka rather than the NZ stuff.

Glad to hear heather has the edge, superior honey IMO. Including for wounds.
Raw honey in wounds may not be so clever whatever the provenance. Wound botulism is a risk in unsterilised honey.
 
I hope ITLD advises but I was just thinking the other day how crowded the beekeeping scene might be there. Numbers may have dropped there recently, but I think they have had around a million hives and about five million people. UK has about 270 thousand hives (is that right?) and a population of about 67 million. Imagine having 13 million hives in the UK? Obviously it's not such a simple equation, but what price could you sell honey for with those numbers, even if the flora could support it?
And Galicia in a medium term. I have searched for the most up-to-date data:
Area slightly less than 30,000 km2
Population by 2023: 2,700,000
Beekeeping farms just over 5,000 in 2023
No. of hives in 2018 269,000
Production in 2023: 3,000,000 kilos
This supposes to have the same number of beehives in the ninth part of the British territory. Regarding NZ we have more beehives per km2 and less in beehives per inhabitant. New Zealand produced 20,500,000 kilos of honey in 2022. It is evident that in Galicia the production per hive is low and few professional producers (those who have more than 150 hives)
 
Honey producers in this context does NOT mean beekeepers. It is deliberately phrased that way to allow you to THINK that.

In reality exporting to Saudi Arabia and other middle east countries has been possible for a long time..I used to send to Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Its awkward but no more awkward than getting 'third country' bee products into the UK.

However...on the face of it...this seems more about easing the certification process for UK *PACKED* honey entering that market.

Difference to ME? Zero. Unless Rowse need our tonnage ramped up..and tbh...in the *packing* trade..spread out over several entities...GBP 6m is minimal....not even a ripple causing amount. They still have to win the business too....no guarantee of that...there are plenty of competitive honey packers around outside the UK.

There is also some reliance to win the business on now being allowed to import with zero duty post Brexit. Double edged one that.....nice headline about a free trade win...but UK beekeepers just saw imported honey become even cheaper against their own domestic product...and Brexit 'benefit'. The two are linked.
 
Woop dee doody - a nebulous 'deal' allowing us to export honey to Saudi we have no difficulty in selling what we produce already

You might not.......but there are plenty out there still sitting on all their 2022 honey and most of their 2021 honey. Some of them big names too.

Was talking to a leading stockholder on Friday and he has still been buying in and has hundreds of tonnes of UK honey in stock and is only just started on feeding the 2020 crop of blossom honey out to packers*. The packers are fully stocked and had cut back purchasing, prices in bulk are on the slide, and the first few bee farmers who need to pay for spring inputs are now offering to sell on an 'I need to sell, make me an offer' basis.

We COULD sell it all if we got it back into the multiples, but for that the price point needs to come down.

Big crop in 2023 could spell real trouble for ordinary blossom honey......specialities like borage and heather still ok (for now) as are local provenances into local markets especially in areas where production is not that high...ie Wales and the SW. However if you are going to have 20t of OSR in drums you might struggle to find buyers.

Those of you with moderate amount of honey, packing it yourself, and selling it in local markets are fairly immune to this and will not have seen the demand fall and downward price pressures that are out there.


* That is not as serious as it might sound...a stockholder often run with 12 months stock at a minimum to protect their end customers from out of stock situations if there happens to be a crop failure.
 

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