New Zealand is not the only country that grows manuka. Australia does too.
And in fact Australia has far more varieties of leptospermum than NZ. We have one, leptospermum scoparium, but Australia has 83 types. 83! That's a lot!
And, what's more, Australia 'manuka' honey is antibacterial too. Just as good, maybe better, depending on who you talk to (um, that would be a NZer or an Australian).
Check out this report of the good qualities of Australian honey.
But all good, right? The world needs all the natural antibacterial products it can find?
Well, you would think so. And by the looks of all the celebrity endorsement, even the normal properties of manuka honey are useful too. Try googling say Kardashian and manuka and see the face mask recipes that pop up.
But, trouble is brewing. After all, 'manuka' is a maori word. So...should the Australians be allowed to call their leptospermum honey manuka?
Well you pick, but my take on it is that it's still the same excellent honey. And it's the healthy and medical benefits that are important. Especially as other chemical antibacterials are struggling.
So why not share the love around? It seems there is plenty of room for all. Especially if you look at news like this: Manuka Fraud. - which would imply that the demand is far greater than New Zealand's ability to produce.
And all honey industries have their own challenges. Here in NZ we've had an appalling season, honey-production-wise. And on top of that have had honey rejected in the UK, and China has increased their scrutiny and requirements for imports. All of which is making it a very skinny year for beekeepers this year.
But this article would suggest that Australia has it's own challenges.
So maybe we should start working together and aim to create a win win situation?
Well, that's my tuppence worth. What do you think?
If you would like to try growing your own manuka trees, check out the free Pictorial Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Manuka