Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Bugger," said Pooh, as he read that Australian Manuka honey had flooded the market, just when he'd felled every tree and turned the 100-Aker Wood into a Manuka plantation

There is trouble here in the Shire, and bad feelings -- directed at our brash neighbours in Bree -- are running high enough for white-water-rafting adventure tourism. Specifically directed at the band of freetailers and coatloaders who comprise the Bree Honey industry. For our own Shire bee-vomit-merchandisers put in a great deal of effort of convince the rest of Middle-Earth that a particularly acrid, previously unsellable source of honey is in fact good for you, and therefore desirable, and because consumers are willing to pay stupidity-tax prices, it must therefore taste better than other nectar products. They settled on the name "Manuka honey" because "Halflinguka" or "Hobbituka" just sounded daft, according to intensive consultation with what was meant to be a Focus group but turned out as a Ficus group on account of a minor spelling mistake.

And now the perfidious Bree-folk are claiming that just because the same plants grow there, contributing the same medicinal flavours to honey in the form of methylwhatsit, they are equally entitled to make money from gullible numpties by selling them a watered-down product! They are calling it "elfuka" or "orcuta" to finesse our claims to legal protection of appellation, but NO-ONE IS FOOLED.
Should be a commodity,
but a NZ-only commodity
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a group of people are making a metric shitton of money from some manner of grift, then it becomes everyone else's responsibility to protect their income when it is threatened.
UMF, which represents a group of beekeepers, producers and exporters that account for 75-80% of New Zealand's manuka honey sales, last year applied to the Government to trademark the name manuka.
An English country estate cashing in on the lucrative manuka honey market has been given a stinging rebuke by Kiwi beekeepers who say, "You can't call it manuka."
"Manuka is a Maori word and the consumer, if you ask them, wants the imagery, the thoughts, the feeling they get that this product comes from New Zealand."
John Rawcliffe -- spokesmanuka for the UMF Honey Association -- may not have intended to admit that the real product being sold is a fantasy, and the putative properties of the honey are window-dressing and persiflage.
I hear that a lot from the Frau Doktorin, usually in tones of outraged suspicion.

Belatedly UPDATED with Bonus Weaponised Bees [courtesy of Lyle Zapato]


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sadly, here in the NY metro area, our most famous honey variety is now unavailable.

Smut Clyde said...

No more Red-Hook Honey! How will we replace that crucial ingredient for Christmas Ale?!
Another Kiwi did cover the original "Red Honey" story six years ago, but we missed out on the pot-growing side of the story.

rhwombat said...

Mwahahahahaha! At last, we evil Orstrayans will have our revenge on Fronterra, aka the Kiwi Milk Mafia (and if you've ever tried to milk a kiwi, you'll know how exclusive that club is), purveyors of fine botox to the Middle Kingdom. All your Buzzy Bees will belong to us !