Thursday, April 25, 2024

Covid stalls honey hearing

Avatar photo
Efforts by Australian honey producers to oppose the registration of the description mānuka honey have been stalled by covid in Wellington last week. A united stance by iwi, government and the mānuka honey industry to have the honey’s name protected was due for a hearing at the Intellectual Property Office, but is now on hold.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Efforts by Australian honey producers to oppose the registration of the description mānuka honey have been stalled by covid in Wellington last week.

A united stance by iwi, government and the mānuka honey industry to have the honey’s name protected was due for a hearing at the Intellectual Property Office, but is now on hold.

Australian honey producers have already contested the registration of the mānuka honey label in the United Kingdom, after the New Zealand government committed more than $1 million towards trademark action by NZ producers to protect the label.

Three years ago, the UK awarded trademark protection to the mānuka honey label exclusively to NZ producers under its UK Trade Mark Registry. Trademark protection is also being sought in China, the United States and Europe.

Mānuka Charitable Trust chair Pita Tipene says the goal to protect the term was so it could only be lawfully used on honey produced in NZ.

“For Māori, this means our reo is respected and a precious taonga is being honoured and protected. For consumers it means they can trust they are getting genuine honey produced in NZ from our mānuka trees,” Tipene said.

“We are strongly of the view that it is not appropriate for honey producers in another country to use the name mānuka honey when the plant the nectar came from did not grow in Aotearoa.”

Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF) Honey spokesperson John Rawcliffe says the irony was the Australian producers were unable to sell their honey product here in NZ and mānuka had proven to be an exclusively NZ descriptor.

Apiculture NZ chief executive Karin Kos says the industry was united across iwi, government and producers about the need to protect and manage the mānuka brand in the interests of NZ.

Tipene says all countries, including Australia, have their own unique honeys and for the international honey industry to advance the use of names specific to indigenous honeys should be encouraged.

Total
0
Shares
People are also reading