International Testing of NZ Honey
Oritain’s investment in a nationwide honey map has paid off. On a recent trip to the US, Oritain officials purchased
manuka honey directly from US company packaging and reselling it as a “Product of New Zealand”. The sample was brought
back to NZ and tested. Oritain was able to scientifically verify that it was from NZ. Additionally, they could confirm
its floral type (manuka) without the need to look at pollen count.
“It is an exciting development” said Mike Darling, NZ operations manager for Oritain “We have invested heavily in
building a data reference map of NZ honey. Oritain is now at the stage where we can test honeys in the international
marketplace against our data and determine if they are truly of NZ origin.” Furthermore, Oritain works with an
international team of scientists, “We no longer need to bring samples back to NZ. Rather we provide approved
laboratories with the testing regime. They undertake the analyses and we can compare that with our reference data”.
Mr Darling explained that the need to prove where honey comes from and what floral type it is stems from the increasing
number of incidents of adulterated or contaminated honey being potentially rebranded as from NZ. “Put simply, when a bad
sample shows up anywhere in the world, we can quickly and simply check if its origin is truly NZ. This is critical to
maintaining the integrity of the NZ honey brand”.
Mr Darling said that Oritain are working with a number of NZ honey producers to proactively map and brand their products
before they get into the market place. This method protects their products and increases consumer confidence by
providing independent assurance of authenticity. Oritain is checking their products in the marketplace – helping to
protect those producers from misrepresentation.