Manuka honey majors ink joint venture for Australian expansion

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock
Australia’s leading honey manufacturer, Capilano, will form a jointly-owned apiary business with New Zealand health foods company Comvita based on a memorandum of understanding between the two companies.

The joint-venture will operate a number of facilities in Australia to produce Leptospermum​—or manuka—honey for a range of medical and natural health products.

As an equal partner in the agreement, Capilano, which like Comvita already produces and markets manuka, expects to benefit by expanding in its home country and increasing its honey supply.

Compared to Comvita, which controls half of the global manuka market, Capilano currently has a 7% share though it is more advanced in its plant science capabilities.

Comvita, which already has a sales and marketing operation in Australia, though not a production base, will secure greater volumes of manuka honey to meet its global demand.

"The driver for the venture is [Capilano] know the beekeeping world in Australia and we've got the experience of running a large apiary business​," said Comvita chief executive, Scott Coulter.

The two companies have previously collaborated in a joint research initiative to investigate the medicinal properties of Australian manuka honey.

While New Zealand primarily produces Leptospermum scoparium​, a number of Leptospermum​ species grow in Australia, including scoparium​, that have similar anti-microbial properties.

In a joint-statement, Capilano and Comvita said they believe they hope to “achieve significant long-term benefits by working together​”.

Related topics Business Oceania Supply chain

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