UMFHA Welcomes a New Lifetime Member – Margaret Bennett – Queen of mānuka honey standards

August 4, 2022

As part of the 25th Anniversary Celebration it is the privilege for the UMFHA to celebrate the contribution from Margaret Bennett. Margaret has been an integral part of the development of the UMFHA since the inception and recognition of the establishment of AMHA  which became the UMFHA.

In 1997, Margaret and her husband Bill, initiated two Tradenz (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise – NZTE) meetings held in Hamilton. Those two meetings were an industry-government collaboration to name and set standards for manuka honey with the unique qualities for which it is highly revered and sought-after – standards for the trusting consumer’s guidance and assurance.

“It was set up for the whole honey industry and has never been exclusive,” recalls Margaret. The two 1997 TRADENZ meetings came about when Margaret and Bill Bennett Made enquiries due to a need to drive the development of a premium honey category. “We had first met with TRADENZ Hamilton in 1995 as we were seeking marketing advice. Subsequent investigations made as a result of those meetings showed the need for a structure, name and standards to grow a high value sustainable honey category.” Since these early days Margaret has a continuous ongoing involvement in the guiding UMFHA only stepping down from the board in 2021.

Margaret and husband Bill founded SummerGlow Apiaries in 1976 and now operate the business along with their children including son-in law, current board member James Jeffery. “We really know our honey”. They have more than 3500 beehives located in the greater Waikato region, in the pristine bush areas of the northern King Country and in the remote Forgotten World region of North Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. SummerGlow Apiaries specialize in the production of high grade UMF16+ Manuka Honey.

As Margaret was crucial to the inception of UMF, her dedication and commitment to the association helped shape its success for the last 25 years. Margaret continues to provide valuable input as a member and is committed to the value of world leading quality  honey standards and transparency to ensure New Zealand provides consumers around the world with a premium natural product experience.

Margaret, Bill and the family continue to operate by the motto “Look after the consumer and the consumer will look after you”.