Honey export revenue has grown by 20 percent to $425 million in the past year, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says. The minister attributes the boost to overseas consumers being eager for natural products in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is welcome news for Māori, with iwi having a significant stake in the industry and estimates that upwards of 70 percent of mānuka honey is made on Māori land, according to an RNZ report.
“Favourable weather conditions in most mānuka growing regions boosted average hive yields for the 2019/20 season, with some beekeepers estimating it as the largest mānuka honey crop in recent years,” said O’Connor.
The minister said growth in existing markets, expansion into new markets such as the Middle East, and continued strong demand could mean another successful year ahead.
“The primary sector had shown its ability to adapt in the past year despite the pandemic,” he said.