What's The Difference Between Australian and NZ Manuka Honey?

12 September 2023

As one of New Zealand's premier suppliers of wholesale Mānuka honey, we take a great deal of pride in bringing you the purest and most authentic monofloral Mānuka honey. In this article, we will be exploring the fascinating world of raw Mānuka honey and shed light on the difference between Australian and NZ Mānuka honey. After this article, you’ll have a greater understanding of this difference and allow you to search for the right Mānuka honey for your business.

Join us as we delve into the distinct characteristics of both Australian and New Zealand Mānuka honey, exploring factors such as geographical origin, floral sources, grading systems, and the intricate process of harvesting and production. We aim to equip you with the knowledge to make informed choices about this precious gift from nature, empowering you to savour the genuine goodness of Mānuka honey with every jar.

Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka Tree)

There’s a Difference?

Mānuka honey has captured the hearts of health-conscious consumers globally, renowned for its unique and powerful properties. However, the comparison between Australian and New Zealand Mānuka honey remains a subject of keen interest and debate. As New Zealand's largest supplier of this liquid gold, we are perfectly positioned to provide you with an in-depth analysis, based on our decades of expertise and commitment to preserving the authenticity of this remarkable natural product.

Technically speaking, the Mānuka tree (Leptosmermum scoparium) is found in certain areas of Australia – yet it is still considered to be native to New Zealand. While this specific species of this tree can be found in Australia, there are 87 species of Leptospermum found within the country. What does this mean? Unless there are strict regulations for honey purity in Australia, it will be very difficult to differentiate the many Australian Leptospermum honey varieties from the native New Zealand type.

Is It True That The New Zealand Government Has A Manuka Honey Science Definition?

Absolutely. The New Zealand Government takes native products very seriously, particularly those which hold cultural significance among the native Maori population. In 2017, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) introduced a comprehensive set of criteria and guidelines aimed at verifying the purity of multifloral and monofloral Mānuka honey.

This program was implemented to protect the authenticity and exceptional quality of one of New Zealand's most renowned exports, empowering consumers to make well-informed decisions when selecting their preferred product.

The MPI Mānuka Honey Science Definition involves measuring markers and tests that honey producers must follow in order to rightfully label their honey as genuine Mānuka. The test for monofloral Mānuka honey requires all five attributes. If the honey fails to meet one or more of the attributes, it is not monofloral Mānuka honey. These attributes are derived from specific chemical compounds naturally present in the nectar of Mānuka flowers. Among the primary markers are DHA (dihydroxyacetone), MGO (methylglyoxal), and HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural). Each one of these markers plays an important role in determining the overall quality, strength, and purity of monofloral Mānuka honey.

Australia vs NZ Verification Methods:

At Midlands Apiaries, we believe in letting our testing and quality speak for themselves. The Australian Mānuka honey industry is still in its infancy, with the AMHA only established in 2017, while the New Zealand UMFHA was established over 20 years ago, in 1998. Australia currently only has two markers to determine the quality of Mānuka honey - MGO and DGA. We are confident that the methods we use are exemplary and difficult to replicate. Our on-site laboratory consistently tests the authenticity and potency of pure Mānuka honey at every stage of the production process.

Any monofloral Mānuka honey that comes through Midlands Apiaries has passed substantial testing with extensive QC analysis. This is all possible thanks to our exceptional on-site laboratory. However, we don’t stop there; we also have relationships with several independent testers and IANZ-approved pathways to ensure we have external verification of our high-quality Mānuka honey.

Why Is The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™) So Important For NZ Manuka Honey?

UMF™ has been the gold standard of Mānuka honey certification for over twenty-five years and ensures the truest essence of monofloral Mānuka honey. Adorned with its iconic symbol adorning Mānuka honey jars worldwide, UMF™ categorises monofloral Mānuka honey into grades ranging from UMF™ 5+ to UMF™ 32+. Embraced by Mānuka honey enthusiasts, this certification attains the utmost respect thanks to its comprehensive five-factor authentication system.

To determine the specific UMF™ Mānuka honey grade, the above-mentioned biochemicals take centre stage:

Leptosperin for AUTHENTICITY

Methylglyoxal for POTENCY

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) for SHELF-LIFE

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) for FRESHNESS

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) for AUTHENTICITY

Showcasing the iconic UMF™ mark on Mānuka honey guarantees an unrivalled quality that is second to none. With us, your customers will be able to experience the authenticity and excellence of UMF™ certified monofloral Mānuka honey – a testament to the purest, most remarkable honey nature has to offer.

For more information on UMF™, please read - “UMF™ Mānuka Honey Grading Explained

The Verdict

Midlands Apiaries Can Provide You With 100% Pure New Zealand Mānuka Honey

Midlands Apiaries is the perfect partner for your brand. Wherever your business sits in a specific industry, i.e. skincare, natural foods, or genuine Mānuka honey provider - we have all the latest technology and expertise to deliver what you want and when you need it. In addition, our widespread Mānuka honey supply and production operations can work with you to achieve your commercial goals.

We also offer the services of a highly knowledgeable sales and marketing team. So, if you’re looking to bring a fantastic brand to market, our team of professionals can plan a pathway to your launch. With an extensive network of honey supplies and laboratories - Midlands Apiaries can provide your business with everything it needs.

Additionally, as the largest New Zealand supplier of wholesale Mānuka honey globally, Midlands Apiaries knows a thing or two about quality. An accredited, independent laboratory tests each batch of Mānuka honey from Midlands Apiaries for certification. We are very aware of the stringent requirements set forth by UMF™HA. Our undeniable expertise in crafting Mānuka honey will give your business the necessary confidence to deliver quality products consistently. Get in touch with us today for more information about how Midlands Apiaries can make for a beneficial partner in your budding business.