Australian Manuka Honey Association – collaboration with NZ key to industry success

Media Release

The Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) announced, on ANZAC Day, the appointment to its Board of Mr Tom Walters from New Zealand. Mr Walters sits on a number of Boards, including Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust, Kaimanawa Trust, is a Director of Maanuka Honey Group and is CEO of Maori Research Institute Ltd.

One of the key initiatives of the AMHA has always been to look at ways in which it can grow the Manuka industry globally and collaborate with New Zealand bee keepers and packers and producers. The AMHA has always believed that building the industry in collaboration with its New Zealand counterparts would be the best way to grow the Manuka industry globally. This would involve technology sharing, joint submission to Codex and IHB, setting up of joint standards, focus on preventing the supply of fraudulent Manuka, industry development and sharing of research together with joint marketing initiatives.

Mr Walters, in accepting the Board position, said “I advocate for more collaborative marketing and sharing between Australia and New Zealand in order to grow the industry globally. The unique resources found in New Zealand and Australia are sought after worldwide and it makes common sense that we work better together. M?nuka (with a macron over the “A”) is Maori and Manuka (without the macron) is a common name in both New Zealand and Australia.”

Mr Walters added, “I look forward to continuing this dialogue across the Tasman with Australians, including our indigenous colleagues, hopeful that legal routes and court rooms can be excluded from a settlement supportive of better collaboration and opportunities for both Australia and New Zealand.”

Paul Callander, Chairman of the AMHA, stated “We welcome Tom joining the AMHA board as the first non-Australian board member. He provides valuable insight and understanding of the New Zealand honey industry and the Maori perspective. In Australia we have five universities involved in research on Manuka, with plant breeding programs, testing, etc, ongoing. We have large areas of land with Manuka growing in the wild that our bee keepers have been harvesting for many years and large areas of land that offer alternative climates to New Zealand for development of plantations. We would welcome sharing and further collaboration with the New Zealand Manuka industry. It is good to see leadership and collaboration between both countries with Capilano (now Hive and Wellness) in a 50/50 business venture with New Zealand honey producer, Comvita, to expand its Manuka (or Leptospermum) honey operations
in Australia.”