PERTH, Australia, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) is the Peak Industry Body for the Australian Beekeeping Industry in Australia, representing honey producers, packers, pollinators, queen bee breeders, and equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
AHBIC has recently provided funding to the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) to assist in its objectives of protecting and promoting the global appeal and awareness of Australian Manuka honey.
Trevor Weatherhead, Executive Director of AHBIC, said, "At present, a New Zealand group is trying to trade mark the term 'Manuka Honey' globally. The suggestion that only honey from New Zealand can be described as 'Manuka' is not credible and is strongly refuted by the Australian honey industry." He added, "Leptospermum scoparium is believed to have originated from Tasmania. Since beekeeping was introduced into Australia, we have had a long history of producing and selling Manuka from Australia for many years."
With over 80 species, Australia is home to the largest diversity of Leptospermum plants in the world while New Zealand has only one species (Leptospermum scoparium). Native Leptospermum plants are found throughout Australia.
AMHA Chairman, Paul Callander, commented, "We would much prefer to work with New Zealand in partnership than argue about a descriptive term. As long as Australia is allowed to use the term 'Australian Manuka', we have no issues and would work with New Zealand to co-fund a global marketing campaign regarding the health benefits of Manuka from both Australia and New Zealand."
On the subject of the group in New Zealand applying to restrict other countries from using the term 'Manuka honey', Mr Callander said, "Interestingly, the US IP office has now twice rejected the NZ application on the basis that 'Manuka' is a descriptive term only, indicating the honey is derived from Leptospermum - regardless of the region."
About the Australian Manuka Honey Association
Formed in October 2017, the AMHA was initiated by a group of Australia's leading Manuka honey exporters, including ASX listed Capilano Honey Limited, Berringa, ManukaLife Pty Ltd, Blue Hills Honey and Honey Australia. AMHA is now the leading national body for the protection and promotion of Australian Manuka honey.
In the short time since incorporation, the Association has:
- formulated (through its highly credentialled Scientific Advisory Board) Criteria for Defining Australian Manuka Honey, detailing the Association's robust, scientifically based international guidelines that benchmark true Australian Manuka;
- developed a Mark of Authenticity for display on members' tested and approved products, providing consumers with confidence that each jar purchased is authentic Australian Manuka honey, and
- assembled a panel of industry authorities including leading scientific experts, the Honeybee Cooperative Research Centre, Australian Government Intellectual Property Officials, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and Australia's dedicated honey packers to lead the charge in protecting Australia's right to promote its native Manuka honey.
Australian Manuka Honey Association
Protecting and promoting the global appeal and awareness of
Australian Manuka honey.
SOURCE Australian Manuka Honey Association