Free Subscription

  • Access daily briefings and unlimited news articles


Only $39.95 per year
  • Quarterly magazine and digital
  • Indepth executive interviews
  • Unlimited news and insights
  • Expert opinion and analysis

‘Strong and sustainable’: NZ honey sector maps out growth plan

NZ honey makers drop bid to trademark the term "Manuka honey"
(Source: Canva)

New Zealand’s honey industry has set its sights on doubling its export value by 2030 by launching a new strategy called “Thriving Together: Futureproofing New Zealand Apiculture 2024-2030”.

The project – initiated by Apiculture New Zealand – aims to create a more sustainable and profitable path for the sector in the long run and reflects the industry’s growth. It is based on three key pillars: sustainability, quality-led, and consumer focus, all of which will support the goal of doubling the country’s honey export value.

Nathan Guy, chair of Apiculture New Zealand, says the project has been developed to reset the industry’s ambitions for a sustainable future. 

“One that reflects the growing maturity of the sector and provides a means to access resources needed to invest in that future,” he continued. 

New Zealand’s apiculture sector has seen remarkable growth since the antibacterial properties of manuka honey gained international recognition. Consequently, honey has become a valuable export earner for several communities in the country.

Between 2010 and 2020, the revenue generated by honey exports in the country increased by five times, reaching more than $525 million.

“While we have seen the industry contract since then with a fall in export revenue and hive numbers, projected growth in the international honey market makes it clear there are compelling reasons for New Zealand honey producers to be optimistic and ambitious about the future,” Guy added.

The growth plan also includes several strategies, including:

  • Strengthening industry leadership.
  • Creating a sustainable industry reinvestment model.
  • Ensuring regulatory needs are met to enable future growth.
  • Creating a unique New Zealand honey story.
  • Protecting bee health and supporting beekeepers.

Rob Chemaly, chair of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, said the strategy lays a strong foundation for the sector to capitalise on growth opportunities.

“The global natural health market for 2024 is estimated to be at least US$24 billion by 2030 with a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 per cent,” explained Chemaly. 

“If we solidify our export structures and work together as an industry to continue responding to consumers’ wants, New Zealand honey will be perfectly placed to continue capitalising on this growth.”

The Sustainable Food and Fibres Futures (SFFF) fund and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) made the strategy project possible. The full strategy can be found on the Apiculture New Zealand website.

You have 3 free articles.