Frequently Asked Questions
What is different about Manukora products?
At Manukora we understand how special our products are. We get very upset with some of the other misleading products/brands on the market and thus one of our aims is to deliver high quality, authentic NZ products to the global market.
Our traceability software is industry leading and allows us to ensure the authenticity of our products on every single sale whilst showcasing some of their amazing origins.
Bryce Hooton, our honey Chief Honey Officer, has been a beekeeper for over 30 years. He is an expert in bee behaviour and health and is a prominent NZ queen breeder. Bryce ensures that our bees are in good health all year-round which results in happy bees and high quality honey production.
Since the bees take so much care producing the honey, we take even more care when preparing it for you. We have been packing honey at our current factory since 1998 and have learnt a few tricks along the way. Our customers love the unique smooth texture of our creamed honey.
You can trust Manukora to deliver you the quality that you are expecting, we are 100% NZ owned and operated and absolutely love what we do.
What is the UMF rating?
The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating is a NZ Government approved quality mark developed and overseen by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA).
The UMFHA is a collection of NZ beekeepers, packers, exporters, and distributors established for the good of the industry.
The UMF testing process is the most comprehensive analysis in the industry. Unlike other grading systems, UMF ensures that all of the key signature compounds which together identify genuine, high-quality Manuka Honey are present.
The UMF number on the honey’s label indicates the level of quality and purity of the product.
Every batch of honey must go through a series of checks to ensure the ultimate in authenticity, quality and safety. All UMF license holders are independently audited to meet stringent standards of production, manufacturing, sampling and handling. So when you see the letters UMF you can be sure you’re buying 100% natural, unadulterated Manuka Honey.
While other rating systems are undertaken by the honey producers themselves, UMF is an unbiased, independent authority set up to certify genuine, high-quality Manuka Honey.
What about other ratings?
There have been many rating systems for Manuka Honey developed in the last decade. As mentioned earlier, UMF is the only independent rating system in the industry.
There are a few rating systems based off methylglyoxal such as MGO, MG and MGS. These rating systems fail to show adulterated honey and confuse the consumer as they show high numbers (e.g MGO 829 = UMF 20), however the tests are solid and they are testing for activity in the honey so not a bad system.
Pollen count is another system used by some producers, this grades honey on the proportion of Manuka pollen in the honey. Manuka pollen is much smaller than other pollen types and filtering can cause higher concentrations of Manuka pollen to be left in the honey when other pollen types are filtered out, this can give incorrect readings. Pollen count does not test for activity in the Manuka.
Total Activity/TA is a prohibited rating system in NZ. If you see stock with this rating it is either old stock or has been packaged offshore. It is impossible to use this rating to determine if you are even getting Manuka Honey.
There are many other ratings such as K Factor, IAA etc. These ratings have been designed by producers to use with their own labels. There is no credible evidence from anyone in the industry showing why consumers should trust these rating systems over UMF.
How can we trust that Manukora products are authentic?
We, along with governing bodies such as the Ministry of Primary Industries and UMFHA certify the authenticity of all Manukora products before they leave our factory door in Matamata, New Zealand.
We have also worked very hard to offer a level of assurance to our customers that they receive the exact product that left our factory. Every single one of our products has a unique code that customers can scan to verify authenticity post-purchase. We have software tracking every jar/scan so counterfeit product is shut down immediately.
I have purchased a product for the second time but the taste/texture is different, why is this?
At Manukora we pride ourselves on the unique taste and texture of every batch of honey we produce. Many factors can contribute to a slightly different taste and texture and we do not try to homogenise our honey.
Where does Manukora honey come from?
Our factory is in Matamata, also known as the home of The Hobbiton. Matamata is also special as it is centrally located in an area known as “The Golden Triangle”. The Golden Triangle stretches from The East Cape to Taranaki and up to the Far North and is known for producing the best Manuka Honey in New Zealand.
We source from all areas of the Golden Triangle but most of our honey is produced on the East Cape of NZ.
What is your creaming process?
We cream all honey for approximately three days, this is a process which aerates the honey to give it a smooth texture and help prevent crystallisation.
We put a lot of care into this by watching over the honey and adjusting the process during the three-day period to ensure the honey is just right when it is finally packaged.
Do you heat your honey in the production process?
We liquefy our honey at approx. 30-45 degrees Celsius.
The honey then passes through a double filtration process.
For some select export markets we use our water heated honey chamber to prepare the honey, this process means the honey passes through a water heated chamber for 30 seconds at 70 degrees Celsius. The honey is cooled instantly after and we test for UMF levels post production to ensure none of the good stuff is lost.
Is there a season for Manuka Honey production?
The Manuka Honey harvest season is very short and only lasts 4-6 weeks per year. The season travels down the country and is very weather affected so production is fragile.
I have seen Australian Manuka honey, what is the story with that?
Manuka is a Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) word and belongs to New Zealand. Australia is producing some tea tree honey from different tea tree varieties but the product is different to NZ Manuka Honey.
Australian honey is not regulated in the same way as NZ honey. They allow honey to be imported into their country and this has led to many scandals where companies have been blending imported honey with Australian honey without disclosing that. Some consumers have been buying honey from reputable companies believing it was produced in Australia, only to find out it is cheap imported honey with a new label.
The Australian honey industry is still very young and has far less regulation and structure than New Zealand. They have no restrictions on health claims and consumers should be very careful when buying honey packed in Australia.
Why buy produced and packed in NZ?
Honey packaged in New Zealand is now heavily regulated. We are not allowed to import honey into New Zealand so you can be sure you are buying honey produced by bees in the native forests of New Zealand.
In 2017, the NZ Government has imposed even stricter labelling guidelines and export regulations for retail packed honey. This means consumers can trust honey packaged in New Zealand above anything else.
What is the best way to consume my Manuka honey?
There are many great ways to consume our wonderful products, please visit our recipe page for some creative ideas on how to use Manukora honey in your daily life.