Sir: Further to your article ‘Will new guidelines rein in manuka honey cowboys?’ (9 August, p16), I’d like to reiterate that Comvita believes the interim guidelines recently released by MPI are a step in the right direction to bring much needed discipline to the New Zealand manuka honey industry. The current benchmark industry standard for manuka is the Unique Manuka Factor quality mark. UMF® is a licensed trademark and the only standard that has multiple membership and is subject to independent audits. 

UMF® is used by over 40 registered New Zealand-based honey producers who have signed up to a voluntary and audited quality standard administered by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) of New Zealand. The UMF® grading system has been in use for almost 20 years. The MPI interim guidelines allow the use of grades and the UMF® quality mark. It falls upon credible industry players to ensure their products comply with MPI.

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Brett Hewlett, CEO, Comvita