Capilano and Comvita plan joint venture to boost trans-Taman manuka sales

A trans-Tasman partnership between Australian honey producer Capilano and New Zealand health-goods company Comvita aims to boost production of manuka honey.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to start an apiary business that will produce the popular honey, known for its unique taste and medicinal properties.

The two companies have worked together in the past researching the medical benefits of the honey.

New Zealand dominates the manuka market, producing the honey, which can sell for between to $40 and $100 a kilogram from two species of Leptospermum trees.

But Australia has 86 species of the tree, and local producer Capilano has been making in-roads to the market, with its August 2015 takeover of NSW producer KirksBees Honey.

This year, a Perth businessman announced a one million tree trial of Leptospermum species in WA’s south-west, in order to tap into the market.