January 08, 2015
Sweet investment for Te Tumu Paeroa
The largest manager of marginal Maori land is investing in ways to get more value from manuka honey.
Te Tumu Paeroa, the new Maori Trustee, has become a shareholder in Manuka Research Partnership Ltd, which aims to grow returns for the industry through applied research.
The co-investors range from small scale farmers and apiarists to large scale interests such as Landcorp, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Nukuhau Carbon, Arborex Industries and the globally recognised natural health products company, Comvita.
Commercial development general manager, Debbie Birch, says Te Tumu Paeroa’s interest is in creating greater returns for owners of the lands they administer and for Maori land owners in general.
About 10 percent of the land the trustee administers is in manuka, which is now considered a suitable cover for marginal land because it can provide both financial return and erosion control.
"The partnership is looking at some new opportunites for manuka that includes looking to increase the quality of manuka honey, lengthen the season and produce more honey per manuka plant.
"This investment in knowledge aligns with Te Tumu Paeroa’s mission of unlocking the potential of Maori land. Working with this partnership enables us to be at the forefront of extremely important research that benefits land owners," she says.
Manuka Research Partnership Limited is co-investing with Comvita and the Ministry for Primary Industries in a seven-year, $3 million Primary Growth Partnership programme called High Performance Manuka Plantations.
The long term goal is to lift the value of the New Zealand manuka honey industry from an estimated $75 million in 2010 towards $1.2 billion per annum by 2028.
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