Thursday, December 07, 2006

Popularity of Medicinal Honey Offers Economic Benefits in New Zealand

Honey Researcher Says Increasing Competition for Manuka Honey
Radio New Zealand, 12/7/2006

[Photo courtesy of Airborne Honey Ltd.]

New Zealand's leading honey researcher says increasing pressure on manuka honey supplies could mean marginal and erosion-prone farmland is converted to plantations.

The comment follows an announcement from natural healthcare company Comvita that it has entered into an agreement with the commercial arm of Waikato University for several new manuka honey patents.

The company says it has also secured exclusive intellectual property rights for future product development for processing, extracting and applying manuka honey's active compound in the wound care and skin care fields…

Peter Molan, director of the honey research unit at Waikato University, says there is a growing international market for manuka honey's active compound - and that is increasing competition among beekeepers to gain access to stands of the native tree.

Professor Molan says there is a lot of interest in farming manuka - and a growing number of landowners are realising the economic benefits of trees they would previously have cleared as a weed.

He says that could also have positive spinoffs for erosion-prone hill country farms…

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