4 Aug 2014

Taking the sting out of honey cowboys

10:02 am on 4 August 2014

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett is hopeful new labelling rules for manuka honey will flush out what he says are cowboys who are giving the product and industry a bad name.

The interim labelling guidelines, which come into effect in January 2016, will ensure New Zealand is producing quality manuka honey for export.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said good brands had been using a quality standard, the Unique Manuka Factor, for a number of years but rogue elements within the industry had put it in jeopardy.

He said it was an opportunity for those who had been selling a product which they knew was not a good one to clean up their act by either starting to sell a good product or getting out of the industry altogether.

"I'll reserve judgement on the ability of these interim guidelines to really reign in those cowboys, you know I think we need to see actions taken and some strong moves from the Ministry for Primary Industry to ensure that those cowboys are reined in."