What is mānuka honey?
New Zealand mānuka honey is produced by bees collecting nectar from the mānuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium). Mānuka plants can be found growing throughout New Zealand.
Making sure it's authentic NZ mānuka honey
Our reputation for honey production and export rests on the integrity of our products and the credibility of our systems.
In December 2017, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) finalised a robust scientific definition that can be used to authenticate whether a particular honey is New Zealand mānuka honey.
We've also introduced requirements to:
- improve how bee products are traced through the supply chain
- make sure New Zealand bee products comply with importing country requirements.
Why the rules are needed
The science definition for mānuka honey is essential to maintain New Zealand's premium position in overseas markets. It will also help the continued growth of our export honey industry. It's important:
- that overseas regulators have confidence in the assurances we give them about New Zealand mānuka honey
- consumers in export countries are confident they're getting genuine mānuka honey.
If not, our access to markets could be put at risk or we may lose the premium prices our bee products command overseas.
Find out more
Tests to authenticate mānuka honey
All honey labelled as mānuka for export must be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the mānuka honey definition.
This definition is made up of a combination of 5 attributes (4 chemicals from nectar and 1 DNA marker from mānuka pollen). This allows industry to:
- separate mānuka honey from other honey types
- identify it as either monofloral or multifloral mānuka honey.
Infographic: Mānuka honey science definition [PDF, 3.6 MB]