ASX-listed Bod Australia signs deal to produce hemp-based mānuka honey
By Sophie Boot
Jan. 18 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed Bod Australia has signed an agreement with mānuka honey producer Manuka Pharma to
produce a hemp-based honey product line.
Bod, a developer and distributor of cosmetics and natural medicines, is aiming to develop a range of over-the-counter
and therapeutic products using cannabis extracts. It says it's building a sustainable, multi-faceted cannabis business
through a deal with Swiss manufacturer Linnea Natural Pharma Solutions. The honey agreement will see Manuka Pharma
source, develop and manufacture the product, with Bod then importing the honey to Australia and packaging it for sale.
While Bod describes Manuka Pharma as a New Zealand-based company, it is not registered with the New Zealand Companies'
Office, and its registration with the Australian Business Register says its main business location is Belrose, New South
Wales. Manuka Pharma's website, which has an Australian domain name, links the company to three brands: Australian
BeeBio, Wairarapa-based Watson & Son, and ManukaMed, a company which sells wound care in the USA but whose New Zealand Companies Office registration
ceased in October last year after the company was placed into liquidation.
The honey will be sold in pharmacies in Australia, and Bod also plans to target health food and supplement stores, as
well as Asian markets such as China. The product will give consumers "a source of high-quality protein and essential
fatty acids from the addition of hemp seeds, as well as the added health benefits of a high-grade, high methylglyoxal
(MGS) manuka honey", Bod said.
Late last year, the government announced a new labelling standard for mānuka honey, set to come into force from Feb. 5,
after much industry concern that non-mānuka honey was being misleadingly sold as such. The honey will be tested for four
chemical markers and one DNA marker before being sold overseas as mānuka. The UK Trademark Registry has also approved
New Zealand's registration of the mānuka honey name, something which the Australian Manuka Honey Association has said it
Mānuka honey is worth $180 million to New Zealand every year, and in its statement to the ASX Bod cited a January 2016
report that global import demand for Kiwi honey was estimated to be worth about US$2.1 billion. At the time, ANZ Bank
New Zealand rural economist Con Williams said the largest growth opportunities for New Zealand exporters were wealthier
countries who are high consumers of honey where New Zealand has low penetration such as the US, Germany, France and
other European countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
While the high volume markets tend to pay US$21-US$28 a kilogram, higher value markets will pay US$30-US$50/kg and
medical grade mānuka can fetch up to $1,000/kg, Williams said.
Bod's ASX-listed shares rose 4.2 percent to 62 Australian cents.