29 Aug 2013

Honey industry leaders define what manuka honey is

1:00 pm on 29 August 2013

The Bee Products Standards Council says an interim guideline spelling out the definition of manuka honey should be put into action next week to tackle labelling problems.

That follows Britain's Food Standards Agency's warning about misleading and illegal claims made on the labels of some honey products.

The Standards Council says the interim guideline will run until March next year with further standards expected by then.

Council chair Jim Edwards says the interim guideline will include information on the quality of a jar of manuka honey, how much pollen is in it, and other relevant ingredients.

The details are still to be finalised and will be released next week.

Dr Edwards says he expects the industry to follow the guidelines.

He doesn't know at this stage how much of the mislabelling originates in New Zealand and how much occurs overseas, but he says the guideline will apply to manuka honey that's packaged and labelled here.