Member’s update – October 2010  

The Executive is very pleased to present this update on implementation of this year’s business plan approved at the Annual General Meeting. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Executive or our General Manager John Rawcliffe


Best wishes

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AMHA Executive

(L to R) Margaret Bennett, Neil Stuckey, Young Mee Yoon, Nevin Amos, Moira Haddrell, Sir Wira Gardiner (inset)

 

 

Financial

The implementation of this year’s business plan programme has required careful resourcing. Payment of levies has enabled the Executive to repay all loans and to implement these strategies that are designed to protect and promote the brand and build brand equity – in time you will be able to leverage this equity.

We have itemised the projects into Research, Promotion and Brand Protection. These are the roles required of the Executive as per the Constitution.

Research

The Executive has agreed to become a Gold Sponsor of the Oritain Research Programme. This commitment is a reflection of your wishes voiced at the Special General Meeting earlier this year. We also encourage you to look at this research option for your own businesses. You can find further information at http://honeyvault.oritain.com.

Research: True to Label Claim – Adulteration

The Executive has also committed $17,000 to a project in collaboration with Auckland University on detecting adulteration of NPA Manuka Honey by the addition of sugar or Methylglyoxal, etc. This research is critical in providing further protection to the consumer. The project’s outcome is: to have methods to determine if any foreign materials have been added to honey for the purpose of misrepresenting the product and/or levels of Non Peroxide Activity, specifically MG, DHA and sugars.

International Trademark Registration

AMHA has invested $40,000 to increase the number of classifications and territories covered by the UMF® and Unique Manuka Factor ™ trademarks.

Commissioner
The Executive is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Luxton as AMHA Commissioner. His role is independent of the Executive and he will not be attending Executive meetings. He will, however, provide a mechanism through which we can constructively handle disputes in a confidential manner. His abbreviated resume is attached.

Peter’s contact details are: tel: 07 544 6647; mob: 021 447 944; email: varpluxton@xtra.co.nz

Audits

The Executive has made a significant move to shift away from internal audits to a robust programme using external agencies. This increases the level of independence and recognition behind the UMF® quality trademark and provides a mechanism through which you, as a licence holder, can promote this level of independent auditing.

Loadouts (AsureQuality)

The first programme will be based on loadout audits. This work will be contracted to AsureQuality and will start on the first of December coinciding with regular RMP audits. We are currently confirming with AsureQuality what specific phrases and signage are appropriate for you to use to promote this level of verification.

Financial

The loadout audit described above will also provide key source documentation so financial audits can be done without excessive interference into your business affairs. This information will only be shared between AsureQuality and The Invisible Office Company (who manage our accounts).

Use of the Trademark

This section of the independent audit programme is to ensure the correct use of the UMF® and UNIQUE MANUKA FACTOR™ trademarks. It also will provide an understanding of control of the mark by licence holders and their relationship with market partners, affirming that the rights to the mark have not been transferred to another party.

Advertising claims and promotional material

We are waiting on Medsafe to finalise the advertising guidelines. It was agreed at the AGM, that these guidelines would be sent to you and you will then have three months to review your promotional materials to ensure they comply with the guidelines as outlined. It must be noted that a lot of websites are making unsubstantiated claims which places us at serious risk in international markets. The guidelines will go a long way to address this risk.

This audit programme, along with the introduction of the Commissioner role will provide the independence and procedural robustness to ensure there is real strength and meaning behind the UMF® quality trademark.

We are investigating a further programme of external audits in terms of adulteration, specifically relating to someone in an overseas market applying a label to product bearing your trademark. We are working with Oritain to potentially provide this service along with market audits.

Interlaboratory Programme

Protecting the AMHA position in the international environment is seen by the Executive as paramount and the most professional and cost effective way of ensuring that the UMF® quality mark can excel in the world marketplace. To achieve this AMHA, over the last year, has fostered links with a number of laboratories in different territories to provide verification of true to label claims. This programme is now coming to fruition.

It should be strongly noted that we are facing competition from other markets and we also face competition from product sold in bulk and then labelled overseas. Protecting NPA honey at the New Zealand port is extremely difficult, hence this strategy is to enable an international network of laboratories to test product in the market place and thereby create a market environment where we are all playing the game to the same set of rules. Market audits have clearly and repeatedly demonstrated there are significant volumes of product sold that undermine the AMHA position by passing off the UMF® brand.

A press release was issued by AMHA on 11 October announcing the implementation of this international interlaboratory verification programme. The full text of the release is attached.

 

Resume: Peter Luxton, AMHA Commissioner ,

Peter Luxton is an experienced international marketer, negotiator, value chain architect and strategist. Initially working for the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) from 1974 – 1986 his responsibilities included being Senior Private Secretary in the Office of Minister of Regional Development; NZ Trade Commissioner roles based in Vienna and The Hague focused on trade development & promotion, and bilateral & multilateral trade policy advocacy; and a period as NZ’s Charge d’Affaires in The Hague. During his career with DTI Peter was awarded a State Services Commission scholarship to undertake full-time postgraduate study.

Peter was subsequently recruited by the NZ Kiwifruit Authority to open & establish the kiwifruit industries own direct representation in Europe. He spent the next 16 years based in Europe variously as Resident Manager, European Marketing Manager and Regional Manager – Southern Europe for New Zealand Kiwifruit. In this latter role Peter had the “Market Contribution” responsibility for Southern Europe (primarily France, Spain & Portugal, Italy and the UK & Ireland).

Since returning to NZ in 2001 Peter was first GM Global Marketing Services & subsequently GM Strategy & Business Development for Zespri International. The former role encompassed being the Zespri Brand Champion; Category Management of the Zespri Green, Gold and Organic businesses; Guardianship of Zespri’s ”IP” in the brand (via trademark and other protection) and other exclusivities (incl. new varieties per PVR, and the “SPE”). The latter role evolved to deliver a sharper focus on New Business, New Ventures, Global Optimisation, and Strategy & Business Development within Zespri International.

During this period Peter was also a member of the Horticulture NZ “Industry Advisory Group” developing a new Sector Strategic Plan (current); the Markets Working Group of NZ Food & Beverage Taskforce (2005-06) and subsequently the Implementation Group (2007); the Pipfruit Industry Strategic Plan Working Group (2006-07); and the Executive Committee of Export Bay of Plenty (2006-08). He has also been an invited speaker to numerous industry and professional fora including the Horticulture NZ Annual Conference 2008, Asia-NZ Foundation ”Asia Aware” series 2008, Export NZ “From Export Trade to Global Business” series, EU “The Europe Series”, Kellogg’s Rural Leadership & FAME courses at Lincoln University, Australian Banana Industry Congress, Norwegian Salmon Farmers Conference and similar

Peter finished with Zespri in late 2008 and has meantime established his own consultancy business Burgeon Solutions which provides strategic & marketing consultancy, facilitation and representation services. Recent or current assignments include

  • specific consultancy projects involving the “Growing a New Future” Horticulture Industry Strategy 2009-2020 – clients Horticulture NZ and Deloitte; the allocation of contestable funding for Export Market Development for NZ Aquaculture – client Aquaculture NZ/ NZTE; undertaking an Export Marketing Review and preparing a Market Development Strategy for onions – client A S Wilcox & Sons; an organisational Strategic Review – client United Fresh; the development of an Export Marketing Strategy & Plan – client NZ Buttercup Squash Council; and the development of an Industry Strategy and Export Strategy & Plan – client Potatoes NZ.
  • an independent directorship (The AgriChain Centre), and
  • judging for the Bay of Plenty Export Awards 2009 & 2010, including as Head Judge of the Emerging Exporter of the Year category

Peter has also established Splice Fruit Limited, which began exporting New Zealand kiwifruit into China and Europe during 2010 under the “collaborative marketing” provisions of the Kiwifruit Export Regulations

PRESS RELEASE – 11 October 2010

New Zealand honey to be tested internationally

The special, unique antibacterial activity present in some strains of New Zealand Manuka honey is now further protected in the international marketplace with a laboratory verification programme.

Active Manuka honey samples will be tested in independent laboratories so consumers, retailers and manufacturers can be assured their Active Manuka honey is true to label and meets strict activity and quality standards.

The Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) General Manger, John Rawcliffe, says they’re very proud to announce the implementation of this programme which will provide robustness in testing and assure consumers their honey meets the UMF® (Manuka honey) quality trademark. The initial participating laboratories are in Singapore and the UK with more expected as the programme grows, he says.

“These laboratories will provide an independent verification programme and ease of access for retailers, consumers and others to obtain testing of products within their marketplaces.”

Rawcliffe says testing will involve using both a standardised biological assay measuring the non-peroxide antibacterial activity levels and a test for chemical markers (methylglyoxal and possibly others). Other factors identified over time that support the identification of the unique activity will be included in this testing programme.

“This verification programme will provide a foundation to continue to develop the world-wide Manuka honey industry with New Zealand at the forefront.”

Announcements regarding participating laboratories procedures for retailers and consumers to send product for testing will be made in the near future.