Coast & Contry - August 2013
The 65-year-old Tauranga company Mossop’s has just opened a new packaging plant to complement their new processing facility commissioned last year, enabling them to process up to 250 tonnes of honey a year.
Neil Mossop says the family business is going from strength to strength despite the recent tough economic environment.
“In the last year we have experienced again 30 per cent growth nationally and through exports,” says Neil.
Mossop’s is very much a family business with Wendy Mossop the inspiration behind its innovative chemical free skin care range called natruél
using UMF® Manuka honey as the main ingredient. Several of their children are part of the business too.
Because they are involved in all aspects of honey production, the Mossop’s team have control over the quality and flavour of the honey ‘from the hive to the honey pot’. They use a natural granulation method, developed by founder Ronald Mossop, for processing honey which maintains its natural goodness and flavours. Mossop’s honey and skin care products are available in stores nationwide and from its popular Mossop’s Honey Shoppe on State Highway 29 at Tauriko.
Neil says last summer was a good honey season with beekeepers nationally harvesting a record of over 16000 tonnes of honey, an increase of approximately 4000 tonnes on previous year. This is partly due to a slightly better season than the previous two years, but also due to an increase of over 31000 managed beehives.
“The varroa mite has now spread throughout the country and honey bees can no longer survive without the care of beekeepers. This is why beekeepers are concerned about further risks to bee health from more unwanted pests and diseases which might get into the country through imported honey.”
Beekeepers are still challenged with an increase in pests and diseases they have to contend with, but as a whole, are managing to control these and keep our beehives healthy.
Neil says beekeepers nationwide continue to oppose the Ministry for Primary Industry’s plans to permit the importation of honey from anywhere in the world. “MPI is looking at different treatment methods which it says would kill any bacteria and make imported honey safe but we think the risks to our essential industry are far too great.”
The public can help keep bees safe by not bringing honey or honey products into the country from overseas.
“People can also think about planting Trees for Bees. This is an initiative Mossop’s is supporting which encourages people to plant flowering trees and shrubs to provide pollen and protein for bees in their gardens or on their farms.
“Farmers who are carrying out riparian plantings can add Trees for Bees to their plant selection. Tree Lucerne is an example of a plant which is ideal for bees but can also be used as animal fodder.”
More information about Trees for Bees, plus a guide to the best trees and shrubs can be found at www.treesforbeesnz.org/
The demand for and consumption of NZ honey has increased dramatically, nationally and internationally, possibly because people are more aware of its natural goodness and health benefits. In addition, NZ has a very good reputation globally for high quality, trustworthy products, which are becoming more sought after. To help meet this demand, Mossop’s are implementing and planning various new management strategies.
Mossop’s beekeepers are currently preparing hives for the coming spring, kiwifruit pollination and the new honey production season. Their beehives are fed with last seasons honey and the hives checked for strength and health. This is an on going task until pollination and honey production seasons begin.
Mossop’s are looking forward to the new season and the challenges ahead as every season is unique and exciting.