Adverse weather conditions during the 2011/12 honey seasons has led to below average production of most grades of Manuka Honey. In some regions production has been down more than 80%, while across the board average production is estimated to be down at least 30%. Supply has been maintained to most markets so far, but we expect to see a significant shortage of good quality Manuka Honey later this year and this will be particularly noticeable with regard to UMF® Manuka. We are seeing increased buying activity by the larger exporters as they try to secure sufficient bulk honey of various UMF® grades to meet their requirements through to next season.
Our company has been very active in the market buying Manuka Honey and we believe we will be able to maintain supply to all existing customers through until next seasons production becomes available. Supply of UMF®15+ will be very tight by the end of 2012, but given some Beekeepers tend to hold their honey for sale until October/November we are confident of being able to purchase additional honey as it becomes available.
As the supply of UMF® Manuka Honey (Non Peroxide Activity) tightens I would expect to see an increasing amount of Manuka Honey being labelled as "Active". It’s very important to note that a lot of so called “Active Manuka Honey” in the market is simply tested for its Total Peroxide Activity and this honey should not be confused with the UMF® Manuka Honey which is tested for its' “Non Peroxide Activity” (NPA). Research undertaken with Manuka honey by Dr Peter Molan and his team at Waikato University clearly identified and confirmed that it is the Non Peroxide Activity that gives some Manuka Honeys special health enhancing qualities. It’s what I call the “Molan Magic”.
To be guaranteed that the honey you are purchasing has the Molan Magic you can’t go past UMF® branded product (tested for its Non Peroxide Activity) as this is supported by robust audit processes that confirms the honey is true to label and indeed contains the Molan Magic.
Steve Lyttle, Managing Director
For more information on Dr Peter Molan's research see University of Waikato Honey Research Unit