The Australian government gives a A$165,000 (US$129,562) grant to the Australian Manuka Honey Association to support activities to address issues in international markets and share manuka honey production methods overseas.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says the cash sweetener will support international market growth for the highly valued medicinal honey.
He says it will also help Australian producers and exporters raise awareness of the unique quality of Australia’s manuka honey.
Australia and New Zealand are in a battle over the term “manuka” with the New Zealanders claiming right to it as a Maori name and seeking to trade mark it.
Littleproud says international interest in manuka honey creates real opportunities for Australian producers.
“This funding will support the spread of Australian manuka honey to the medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical markets,” he says,
“Industry will be able to share the unique properties of Australian produced manuka honey and to develop a series of materials including a website and visit key markets to share production knowledge.”
Littleproud says the visits are an opportunity to promote the origins of Australian manuka honey, which may open the door to an increased market share for its producers.
Tasmanian Liberal Senator David Bushby said Australian manuka honey was the best in the world.
“This grant will allow the industry to evolve as well as promote its traditional honey in a jar,” Bushby said.
“This is a fantastic announcement that will not only have a positive impact on jobs and the local economy, but also our environment.”
Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said Australia had a long history of producing manuka honey dating back to the 1930’s from plants originating in Tasmania.
“This funding provides important support in reinforcing our place in a unique, valuable and high demand global market.”