Manuka honey labelling guide a positive step for NZFood Safety
The Interim Labelling Guide for Manuka Honey released today by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is a positive step for the New Zealand industry, Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says.
“The Guide provides clarification on what constitutes manuka-type honey, and aims to ensure that New Zealand is producing quality manuka honey that is labelled correctly and meets the expectations of overseas regulators, along with consumers here and overseas,” Ms Kaye says.
“This MPI-led initiative has seen the Ministry working with scientists, industry and overseas regulators – and looking at 11,000 samples of honey – to ensure truth in labelling in New Zealand.
“Though I have been briefed on the outcome, the work is operational and decisions have been made by MPI.
“I am pleased with the collaboration that has occurred and while I expect it will be difficult to achieve full consensus, I understand that there is significant support for taking these measures.
“Over the last decade, there have been a number of issues raised and statements made regarding the definition of manuka honey,” Ms Kaye says. “There are a range of complex issues due to different statements on labels and the evolving science in this area.
“It is important that New Zealand takes this step to protect our brand and the integrity of our labelling systems.”
MPI will be working with honey companies to help them comply with the new Guide. More detail, including a range of papers that relate to this work, can be found at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food/food-safety/manuka-honey