5 October 2015
Genuine New Zealand Manuka Honey will receive greater international protection, following an application by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) to trademark the name.
UMFHA spokesperson John Rawcliffe said the move is fundamental to protecting an internationally recognised premium product that is unique to New Zealand.
“The increasing global demand for Manuka Honey is resulting in a variety of honey products from different parts of the world claiming to be Manuka Honey,” John said.
“Genuine Manuka Honey is sourced from the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium which is found almost exclusively in New Zealand. Furthermore, the word ‘Manuka’ is a Maori name which in itself should be protected for the benefit of all New Zealanders. It’s vital that we safeguard this heritage and the provenance of this iconic honey which is so intrinsically identified with New Zealand.”
John said the Association had filed for a Certification Trade Mark covering the ‘Manuka Honey’ name, based on feedback from industry stakeholders and increasingly from consumers and regulatory authorities overseas.
“Someone had to take the initiative and protect the integrity and equity in the words Manuka Honey before it was lost forever,” he said.
“Securing the name will give customers and consumers greater confidence that the honey they buy anywhere in the world which bears the Manuka Honey name will be what it claims to be – ultimately sourced from the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium from New Zealand.”
John said protecting the Manuka Honey name is similar to other initiatives internationally to safeguard products unique to regional origins such as the French Champagne and Scottish Whiskey appellations.
“New Zealand offers a unique growing environment for Leptosperum Scoparium and the production of Manuka Honey. We need to protect it from pretenders elsewhere with their rash of ‘me too’ products, and continue to build our New Zealand industry from a foundation of integrity and quality.
“Trademarking the name Manuka Honey using a Certification Trade Mark will go a long way towards protecting consumers and building on the platform for the uniqueness New Zealand and this extraordinary honey offers.”
John said the Certification Trade Mark will be openly available to everyone for use on genuine New Zealand Manuka Honey.
“Ultimately, the plan is to transfer the Certification Trade Mark to an independent entity for the benefit of all industry participants.”
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