Exciting news for the New Zealand Mānuka Honey industry as the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has accepted the term ‘Mānuka Honey’ as a proposed certification mark. This news is greatly welcomed by Waikato-based leading Mānuka Honey producers SummerGlow Apiaries.
“This decision from the IPONZ is another important step forward for the Mānuka Honey industry,” says James Jeffery, manager at SummerGlow Apiaries in Te Kowhai, Hamilton.
The decision was due to the application by the Mānuka Honey Appellation Society, which represents most of the New Zealand Mānuka Honey industry.
“Regardless of the surrounding legislative framework (which can change), from a trade mark perspective, I am comfortable that for New Zealand consumers at the relevant date, the mark MANUKA HONEY was apt to differentiate leptospermum scoparium honey produced in New Zealand from leptospermum honey produced elsewhere,” said IPONZ Assistant Commissioner of Trade Marks Jane Glover.
“Recognising Mānuka Honey as a certification mark means the New Zealand beekeeping industry can now go on to get further protection of the Mānuka Honey name,” comments James. This certification trade mark will perform as a type of open standard so that any qualifying honey from New Zealand can use it.
However, the battle isn’t over for New Zealand’s Mānuka Honey producers for its final goal of full protection. The application can now be accepted for registration and can be commented on by other market participants.
“This is a vital part of procedure as we need to protect the term as being fundamentally linked with New Zealand and so we can properly position our Mānuka Honey in world markets,” adds James.