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BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS SEP/OCT 2018

BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS SEP/OCT

Bay of plenty SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 VOLUME 3: ISSUE 9 WWW.BOPBUSINESSNEWS.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/BOPBUSINESSNEWS Liquid gold looks to regain lost lustre Beekeepers anticipating a better harvest. Photo/Supplied Manuka Honey is positioned for recovery despite recent climatic setbacks and continuing concerns over copycat competitors. By RICHARD RENNIE Manuka honey was being hailed as the new hort gold only a couple of years ago. Established and newly minted beekeepers were scrambling to secure hives, equipment and markets for the precious product, which was achieving prices as high as $80 a kg in its purest form. The 2017 Apiculture NZ conference had the feel of a Mystery Creek Fieldays, with equipment retailers spruiking trucks, handling equipment and hive options, while more than 1000 delegates queued for what was once a low-key, small venue event. But a couple of tough Springs hit the flowering rates hard for the increasingly valuable Manuka bush. Total honey volumes produced in 2017 dropped from 19,885t the year before to 14,855t, with Manuka volumes hit particularly hard in parts of Northland, Bay of Plenty and East Coast, due to a poor Spring limiting plants’ early flowering ability. The fortunes of NZX-listed honey giant Comvita are an accurate barometer for the weather’s impact upon the sector in the past two years, and the challenges that still lie ahead for one of the country’s most rapidly emerging export sectors. It has been a bumpy ride for Paengaroa-based Comvita, Continues page 3 Blackstar UK company acquires Whakatane’s Asset Finance P11 The Lakes Residential development releases final stages on Summit P14 Tauriko Strong demand from growing local businesses P32