The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is taking more time to review submissions to its consultation on the definition of mānuka honey.
Because of the number and complexity of submissions, the Ministry has decided to build approximately 6 to 8 weeks into the process to ensure all feedback is thoroughly reviewed.
"We received a lot of useful feedback throughout the consultation from beekeepers and honey producers as well as members of the public," says director systems audit, assurance and monitoring, Allan Kinsella.
"In addition to what we heard at a number of public meetings, we received 120 formal submissions. Because of the scientific nature of the proposals, many of these were detailed and technical and will require thorough review.
"We've also heard from many in industry that they would like MPI to take extra time to consider their submissions.
"We've taken a careful and considered approach to developing the proposals and collecting feedback. The process is too important to rush because our reputation for honey production and export rests on the integrity of our products and the credibility of our systems.
"We need to make sure that the final requirements are robust and accurate so that overseas regulators have confidence in the assurances we give them about New Zealand mānuka honey, and that consumers in those countries can be confident in the products they are purchasing."