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‘It’s a lie!’: Honey producers irate over New Zealand’s bid to stop Australian beekeepers from using term ‘manuka’

3AW Breakfast

Australian honey producers are irate about a move by the New Zealand government to trademark the term “manuka honey” in China.

China is a huge market for the honey, so the move may cost the Australian honey industry up to a billion dollars in export revenue.

The Australian government has declined to intervene on behalf of the Australian honey industry.

Lindsay Bourke, President of the Tasmanian Beekeeper Association, has slammed the New Zealand government for the move.

“We’ve been very nice, now we’re getting really sick of it, because it’s a lie!,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

Manuka honey is produced by bees who feed off nectar from leptospermum scoparium, a type of tea tree.

Mr Bourke said Australia has many more species of manuka than New Zealand does.

“There are 84 manukas in Australia, New Zealand only has one,” he said.

“The little manuka tree they’ve got in New Zealand is the exact same one they had in Tasmania, way before New Zealand popped up out of the ocean as an atoll!

“We have far more potent, better manukas in Australia.”

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