Australian manuka honey producers score legal win over New Zealand producers in Europe, UK

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Alastair

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This ruling flies in direct conflict with the precedent set when the French makers of Champaign successfully stopped New Zealand producers from using the word Champaign.
 
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This ruling flies in direct conflict with the precedent set when the French makers of Champaign successfully stopped New Zealand producers from using the word Champaign.

Well, to me there is a clear difference. Champagne is an area in France where the bubbly is made, Manuka is a very common plant name in NZ and Oz; to me not known to be an area!
 
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Over 15 years ago I told a friend who was on the maori council to register or trade mark the name MANUKA. Did they ? no. So now this fight with our neibours has cost us taxpayer millions of dollars
 

Alastair

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Champagne is an area in France where the bubbly is made, Manuka is a very common plant name in NZ and Oz; to me not known to be an area!

Of course I was waiting for someone to say that. But to me, Champaign is a place in France same as Manuka is a plant in NZ. Both come down to a name on a bottle representing what is within, and where it comes from.

The word Manuka may have been taken to Australia many years ago by some Kiwis and occurred very occasionally as a street name or whatever, but it's rare, can betcha 99% of Aussies did not know what Manuka was before the honey got famous.

In addition, the Aussies are making out like we are trying to stop them selling their honey. We are not, we are very happy for them to sell their honey. It's taking a free ride on the name that NZ has spent the time and money promoting is the problem. Only money Aussies have put in is fighting in court to steal what we have worked for and created, taking the fruits of NZ'ers labors out of our hands, and transferring it to Aussies who did not work for it.
 
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Of course I was waiting for someone to say that. But to me, Champaign is a place in France same as Manuka is a plant in NZ. Both come down to a name on a bottle representing what is within, and where it comes from.

The word Manuka may have been taken to Australia many years ago by some Kiwis and occurred very occasionally as a street name or whatever, but it's rare, can betcha 99% of Aussies did not know what Manuka was before the honey got famous.

In addition, the Aussies are making out like we are trying to stop them selling their honey. We are not, we are very happy for them to sell their honey. It's taking a free ride on the name that NZ has spent the time and money promoting is the problem. Only money Aussies have put in is fighting in court to steal what we have worked for and created, taking the fruits of NZ'ers labors out of our hands, and transferring it to Aussies who did not work for it.

I put it only up there "FYI" (for anybody who is interested) and I stand by my comment that an area is different from a plant.
 
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Gisborne Tairawhiti
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Interesting that the the article references L. scoparium specifically.
"The plant that produces the pollen used by bees to make manuka honey, Leptospermum scoparium, grows natively on both sides of the Tasman."

Previously Australians were claiming *all* Leptospermum as manuka . . .useful when in fact they have little scoparium and their active honeys are mostly other species such as L. polygalifolium (jellybush) and others. Ironically many of these species have higher DHA and MGO than our/their scoparium.
Australian honeys will likely pass the chemical tests in the manuka definition but fail the DNA test.
 

Josh

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… our ministries stuffed up again.

Kiwi Fruit
Lamb & wool
Fisheries Quota
Forestry
Not charging sufficient tourist tax
Not having regional taxation/GST to support busy tourist communities with small rateable populations
Not spending enough on medical staff to retain the experienced staff already here, instead trying to get bargain subpar overseas staff.
Not prosecuting, fining and ruining bee keepers who repeatedly fail to abide by AFB rules/standards

Are some that spring to mind immediately (had to check myself there… almost went on a full rant 😅)

Now we can add Manuka Honey. The second it blew up, it should have been trademarked and protected. Just like coca-cola and the curved bottle, Cadbury chocolate’s purple colour and Darth Vader’s breath sounds.

In fact the smart thing to do would be to recognise it’s not trademarked… do so, and buy the domain names etc, and make a killing selling it back 💩

FYI - I checked already… they’re gone.
 

Alastair

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Not having regional taxation/GST to support busy tourist communities with small rateable populations

Re that. For many years there have been repeated calls for GST to be reduced or dropped entirely on some food items to help the poor.

Sounds reasonable? Other business interests such as tourism and whatever also want it cut on whatever it is they are selling.

But it is not simple at all. When Helen Clarke was Prime Minister, her government was very sympathetic to the idea of cutting GST on basic food items and made noises they were looking at doing it, and it would certainly have boosted labours popularity. But then they looked at real world scenarios, and did the math.

In some overseas countries similar schemes are in place, so we took a look at that to see how it worked. Turns out to be way more complicated than expected. So, let's say basics like flour and eggs were at a reduced rate, but items like sugar that the government are trying to have us cut back on were at the full rate, how do you do the GST on a cake which has all 3 ingredients, each at different rates? Overseas they found the only way to comply was to have accountants figure out all the ingredients and percentages in an item, then calculate the average GST (or for overseas, sales tax), that would have to be paid. This extra work would apply to most items on a supermarket shelf, and back then best my memory serves, the cost to the country to figure all this out was estimated to be a minimum $700 million plus annually. Money that would not have to be spent if we just stayed with a simple, one percentage fits all GST rate across everything.

The extra cost was considered to nullify any advantages to the poor, simpler just to leave GST as is across the board, and instead adjust tax and benefit rates as felt needed, and the country will be better off overall.

I can actually remember Clarke being interviewed on TV and trying to explain this in terms her beneficiaries would understand, she looked uncomfortable with it and her constituents would have been disappointed. But in the end she knew it was right to do what was best for the country as a whole.
 

Josh

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Re that. For many years there have been repeated calls for GST to be reduced or dropped entirely on some food items to help the poor.

Sounds reasonable? Other business interests such as tourism and whatever also want it cut on whatever it is they are selling.

But it is not simple at all. When Helen Clarke was Prime Minister, her government was very sympathetic to the idea of cutting GST on basic food items and made noises they were looking at doing it, and it would certainly have boosted labours popularity. But then they looked at real world scenarios, and did the math.

In some overseas countries similar schemes are in place, so we took a look at that to see how it worked. Turns out to be way more complicated than expected. So, let's say basics like flour and eggs were at a reduced rate, but items like sugar that the government are trying to have us cut back on were at the full rate, how do you do the GST on a cake which has all 3 ingredients, each at different rates? Overseas they found the only way to comply was to have accountants figure out all the ingredients and percentages in an item, then calculate the average GST (or for overseas, sales tax), that would have to be paid. This extra work would apply to most items on a supermarket shelf, and back then best my memory serves, the cost to the country to figure all this out was estimated to be a minimum $700 million plus annually. Money that would not have to be spent if we just stayed with a simple, one percentage fits all GST rate across everything.

The extra cost was considered to nullify any advantages to the poor, simpler just to leave GST as is across the board, and instead adjust tax and benefit rates as felt needed, and the country will be better off overall.

I can actually remember Clarke being interviewed on TV and trying to explain this in terms her beneficiaries would understand, she looked uncomfortable with it and her constituents would have been disappointed. But in the end she knew it was right to do what was best for the country as a whole.
Yeah, I remember all that phaff. I don’t want GST dropped, but rather it’s a proportion of it is kept where it’s spent. Much like the Liquor Licencing Trust in Invergiggle.

But you’re quite right, bureaucracy will soak up most of the benefits. I do feel for the low population tourist areas if NZ though who can’t afford the infrastructure they need because their population flies in and out.

And I’ve heard stories about when they lowered the tax on children’s shoes… suddenly children had the need for heels and toe caps 😅

Anyway… a little tangential now… back to bloody Australian dog’s cashing in on decades of hard NZ graft (just like pavelova)
 
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Alastair

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So they should. The Aussies have very much played up the fact that the word "manuka" has been used in Australia as an occasional street name or place name, and are therefore claiming it as an Australian word rather than a uniquely NZ word. And presented the right way this may convince an arbitrator.

The other problem is the Aussie government is bankrolling their legal fight, so they have a large war chest of money to spend on lawyers etc. Best I know our legal fight is being funded by some impoverished and struggling beekeepers.
 

Alastair

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In NZ we have one species we call Manuka. In Australia they have boasted they have more than us, they have 86 species they are now calling manuka. The honeys from some of these 86 species taste markedly different to our own NZ manuka honey.

The following is cut and pasted from an email from Apiculture NZ -

"It is important to maintain a position of clarity for the consumer of what they are buying; not by including another 86 species under a single name. Soon there will be research released demonstrating the significant differences between NZ mānuka honey and other products sold around the world that are labelled as 'manuka honey'.

If we are to develop the science around this unique honey we must ensure we have proper species differentiation and recognition, and all the other values of the NZ climate, environment, and soils that contribute to a unique product are recognised.

We should remind ourselves that we are not attacking any other country or body producing their own unique and valuable honey based on their own story; we are only fighting for the recognition of ours. For the international honey industry to advance away from a base commodity position this is very important. Our goal here is for the NZ beekeeper to be able to clearly tell their story with their own unique honeys in an international market without confusion.”

This sentiment is strongly supported by Apiculture New Zealand".
 

Alastair

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And my own comment, realize that if we can claim back the word "Manuka" and prevent the world market being flooded by other honeys from other countries labeled as Manuka, we could again start actually selling all we produce, and get a good price for it.
 
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Hence my interest in the original article Alastair, that it specifically mentioned L. scoparium rather than just Leptospermum. However it might be a difficult path to follow as I believe that - like kanuka - then L. scoparium may be broken into two or more species . . .which would muddy the waters considerably if following the species line !
 
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There is certainly a lot of regional variation in manuka plants. How much this affects the activity and taste of manuka honey I'm not sure but I do know that to me Northland manuka taste quite different from what we get in Hawke's Bay.
Naming things is a bit of a tricky situation. Clover Honey produced anywhere in the world is still sold as Clover Honey and if I was to plant a plantation of Tasmanian Leatherwood (something that is worth considering) then I would still sell it as Leatherwood honey. Rather than fight over names I would rather have a system where everything had to have country of origin. New Zealand champagne, Australian manuka et cetera.
Selling honey as manuka when it comes from a different species however should not be acceptable. Perhaps Australians are just trying to emulate what many packers in New Zealand did in the past in which case almost anything could be labelled manuka.
 
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MPI have strict makers that need to be present in the honey before it can be labelled as Manuka Honey in NZ. Do the Australians have to adhere to the same rules or can they just call in Manuka because they have a hive that was near a Leptospermum bush?
 
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MPI have strict makers that need to be present in the honey before it can be labelled as Manuka Honey in NZ. Do the Australians have to adhere to the same rules or can they just call in Manuka because they have a hive that was near a Leptospermum bush?
Aussie has no markers, so like NZ up until a few years ago, they can write anything on the label, and call anything Manuka.
 
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So they should. The Aussies have very much played up the fact that the word "manuka" has been used in Australia as an occasional street name or place name, and are therefore claiming it as an Australian word rather than a uniquely NZ word. And presented the right way this may convince an arbitrator.

The other problem is the Aussie government is bankrolling their legal fight, so they have a large war chest of money to spend on lawyers etc. Best I know our legal fight is being funded by some impoverished and struggling beekeepers.
Funding comes from every UMF license holder through agreed increased levies.
 


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