UMF Honey Association’s Market Verification campaign
Grocery and health food stores across the world are familiar with the high retail prices that manuka honey can command. The UMF® Honey Association, an organization which verifies and validates Manuka Honey, is here to tell you why it’s important to look for the UMF® trademark and give you free marketing tools to help educate your shoppers.
About Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey is a unique natural product made by bees visiting Manuka flowers native to New Zealand. Scientific research has shown that it has qualities not found in other honey varieties.
While other honeys might have a degree of activity when first extracted from the hive (derived from hydrogen peroxide), it is not stable; by the time the honey reaches the consumer’s table most of this quality is gone. Manuka Honey is different: it has a further activity (a non peroxide activity or NPA) which is stable and not affected by light or moderate heat. It is the NPA which is responsible for the much-talked-about health benefits of Manuka Honey.
NPA cannot be seen and it cannot be tasted, so the consumer – and the retailer – is totally reliant on the supplier to accurately and honestly label the product. However not all Manuka honey contains this special NPA quality. The UMF® Honey Association is an organization which has set up independent verification testing of Manuka honey.
If you stock UMF® Manuka Honey you can be confident that the product inside is true to label. There is an independent, internationally recognised verification programme that provides you with the opportunity to verify label claims. The label claim is to a level of Non-Peroxide Activity, a standard which compares the NPA of the honey using phenol (a widely used antiseptic) as a comparative standard. For example UMF® 12+ manuka honey has the equivalent non-peroxide activity as a 12% phenol solution.
Why doesn’t all Manuka Honey carry the UMF® trademark?
There is a plethora of other ‘manuka honeys’ and honeys from other countries on the market using a variety of descriptors and implied claims of containing NPA, such as ‘active’, ‘bioactive’, ‘AAA’ etc. These terms do not guarantee NPA qualities and any numbers that might appear on the jar such as +10 or +15 are meaningless to the retailer and consumer as they do not adhere to the recognised NPA standard behind the research on Manuka honey.
How can I communicate this message to my shoppers?
The UMF® Honey Association is here to protect the consumer against fraudulent and adulterated products. To help retailers to champion UMF® Manuka honey, the Association has produced a FREE marketing pack with posters, pop-up “tent” cards for your windows and point-of-sale literature to communicate to shoppers the importance of purchasing Manuka honey that is true-to-label and bears the internationally recognised UMF® quality trademark (please see below for details about how to apply for a marketing pack).
What else can I do?
To further inspire confidence in their suppliers, the Association wishes to empower UK retailers to test their honey and determine that all the honey they stock is true-to-label.
As such, the UMF® Honey Association has forged links to the UK government’s leading independent biological and chemical analysis laboratory Fera (The Food and Environment Research Agency). Retailers will have the chance to submit honey for testing to distinguish the honey’s true composition and geographical origin, thus protecting the consumer from adulterated or fraudulent products. Further details of submission protocol and pricing can be found in our Market Verification campaign marketing pack.
Find out more?
The UMF® Honey Association wants retailers to feel confident they can provide robust evidence to support labelling claims of all the products they sell. The association also wish to highlight that if honey carries the UMF® quality trademark the retailer can confidently tell consumers they are purchasing a safe, high quality product which offers the health benefits associated with verified NPA levels in Manuka Honey.
To request a free marketing pack or further details of Fera’s honey submission protocol, please contact the General Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.