Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.
“The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring Report highlight the potential for honey and other natural products,” Damien O’Connor said.
“By adhering to high standards we can help drive more value for Kiwi exporters and their products,” Damien O’Connor said.
Export volume increased 28 per cent to 10,288 tonnes in the year to June 2020.
“Favourable weather conditions in most mānuka growing regions boosted average hive yields for the 2019/20 season, with some beekeepers estimating it as the largest mānuka honey crop in recent years,” Damien O’Connor said.
“The volume of honey exports surged from February 2020, with export volumes for the six-month period from January to June 2020 reaching 5,700 tonnes, up 49 percent on the same six-month period in 2019,” Damien O’Connor said.
He said monofloral mānuka was attracting the best prices.
“The Government introduced a standard for monofloral mānuka honey in 2018 and I think that has benefited those producers. We need to protect that value of mānuka and ensure it’s made to the high standards that international customers expect,” Damien O’Connor said.
Growth in existing markets, expansion into new markets such as the Middle East, and ongoing strong demand for monofloral mānuka honey could see another successful year for New Zealand honey exports in 2020/21. Three consecutive years of high production means that there is plenty of stock available to meet demand.
“The primary sector had shown its ability to adapt in the past year despite the pandemic,” Damien O’Connor said.
“Where issues have arisen, the sector has worked hard to find solutions and the Government is focussed on helping where we can. With prices for our dairy and meat products holding their own, the past year has been a successful one for the sector,” Damien O’Connor said.