Historic: Honey Marketing - Part 1

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Organised (and Disorganised) Marketing of Honey in New Zealand

The marketing of honey in New Zealand for the twentieth century can perhaps best be covered in terms of a series of ‘era’s. These were the periods of time with a predominant marketing force. And generally there was a bit of ‘open space’ before the next attempt at organised marketing were made.

So long as New Zealanders were able to eat all of the honey produced, there was no real problem. The problems came from price cutting by sellers, particularly in a good production year.

“Organised marketing” came to represent a wish for a stable income, selling honey at a more consistent price from one year to the next, allowing for planning and growth. Over the century, there were a range of entities that took up the challenge: a true co-op, a private company, a government department, and finally a statutory authority.

For seasons when these ‘stabilising agents’ had the confidence of the beekeeper producers, they all, variously, operated effectively. But when beekeepers were not confident enough in the organisation, and supply quantities fell off, the organisations inevitably faced problems.

The eras this series of postings covers are
  • The NZ Honey Producers Co-operative Association (HPA), 1914-1932
  • NZ Honey Ltd,. 1932- 1938
  • The Internal Marketing Division (IMD), 1938-1954
  • The Honey Marketing Authority, 1954 - 1983
That ranges from about 1914 up until 1983, when the HMA was finally wound up, the last of any equivalent attempts at ‘organised marketing’.