Friday, October 31, 2008

New Zealand Project to Promote Medicinal Honey

What a Bee-autiful Idea ... Use Scrub to Make Millions
By Rosemary Roberts, The Northern Advocate (New Zealand), 10/31/2008

The Far North's manuka scrublands - once seen as worthless wasteland - could instead create 200 jobs and millions of dollars a year in sales as the region taps into world's most sought-after honey.

Long-term the rewards could be even greater, with Far North iwi looking to cash in on the honey's anti-bacterial properties. The ultimate aim is a centre of excellence in Kaitaia based on manuka's special medicinal qualities and capitalising on the high levels of bioactive compounds in Northland manuka honey.

Think a college for beekeepers, a manufacturing plant to process medical-grade honey and make manuka-based medical products; a laboratory to develop new medical products; and large-scale production of manuka to plant as a "nurse" for slow-growing plantations of kauri and totara…

Enterprise Northland chief executive Brian Roberts said an even greater opportunity was that the venture could break into the international market for manuka-infused bandages to treat wounds and fight "superbugs". Manuka was more effective, cleaner, greener and safer than the present alternatives, the main one being silver-infused bandages…

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