Comvita snaps up Waikato beeyard as manuka demand increases

Comvita snaps up Waikato beeyard as manuka demand increases

Health and beauty company Comvita has bought Te Awamutu-based apiary Waikato Honey Products to increase its supply of manuka honey.

Waikato Honey Products farms 3,500 beehives located throughout the Waikato and central North Island.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the business would provide it with additional supply of both pasture and manuka honey and would be incorporated into the existing Kiwi Bee Apiary business.

The acquisition was completed last week for an undisclosed sum.

He said the deal gave Comvita, which makes and markets a range of natural products worldwide, a platform to assist key beekeeper suppliers to expand and over time increase its own hive numbers.

“Our policy on honey supply remains one of supporting our loyal beekeepers and sourcing the majority of our manuka honey requirements through these long-standing relationships."

To meet increasing international demand for manuka honey, he said Comvita had invested in development of elite manuka strains for reforestation of marginal land.

“Waikato Honey Products provides Comvita with an ideal platform to get the most out of our significant investment in research and development," he said.