Emerging from a mutual passion for bees and beekeeping, Mana Kai Honey was formed in 2013 by Bobby Leef and Sera Grubb. Mana Kai Honey is a 100% New Zealand owned, 100% Maori owned and operated business, located in Awanui, just north of Kaitaia, in the Far North of New Zealand. They spoke to the team about their plans for their business.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“Mana Kai Honey specialises in beekeeping, crop pollination, honey extraction, processing and retailing. This coming season, Mana Kai Honey will consist of a 2,000 strong beehive operation, along with a honey contract extraction factory which services over 15,000 beehives.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“We are proud to be harvesting high quality Manuka honey from some of New Zealand’s most pristine remote areas. Currently Mana Kai Honey produces a portfolio of high quality Manuka UMF and Multiflora honeys in a range of packaging sizes, with the range covering 5+ UMF, 10+ UMF, 15+ UMF and 20+UMF Manuka Honey. We also package Native Flora and Manuka Blend in 1kg, 5kg and 25kg packaging for the food service industry.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“For the past four honey seasons our primary focus has been on extending our beekeeping knowledge and growing our beekeeping operation. We have recently embarked on the packaged honey journey. Mana Kai Honey is excited to soon be launching a new website which will feature a new high end Manuka honey range in glass jars which will feature our new ‘Maori bee’ logo.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“This season our team of professional beekeepers will be managing around 2000 hives. In the future we intend to expand our hive numbers to 5000 to ensure sufficient beehives for both our honey and pollination operations. Currently our extraction factory is processing around 200 tonne of honey in a season, we would like to increase that capacity and construct a new medical grade extraction factory.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
“We are just beginning the retail and export journey – we have big dreams! Our operation currently includes a boutique Honey Tasting Room where we sell our honey range and soon our products will be available on our soon to be released website. Our aim is to see our honey distributed both in New Zealand and globally and our goal is to see our wholesale products being utilised throughout New Zealand by the Food Service Industry.”