Honey has many health benefits, and many people think that honey is made from flowers, but it can be made from almost any plant. Manuka honey is one of the most expensive types of honey, the taste and quality of which is unlike anything else. However, its high price prevents most people from buying it regularly.
When buying honey, you should know that many factors determine its price. In particular, in the continuation of this article, what you need to know about Manuka honey and why it is expensive is presented.
Why is the price of Manuka honey so high?
1. Only found in New Zealand
Manuka honey originates from the Leptospermum scoparium tree. It is rare because it grows only in New Zealand. This is because the tree cannot grow anywhere else; Because it requires a special climate that is only found in New Zealand. Sure, scientists can try to simulate a tree and grow it in the laboratory, but the quality may not be the same.
Since this tree can only grow in New Zealand, the honey obtained from it is limited. This low supply raises the price due to the high demand for it.
2. Graded and classified for health benefits
Many doctors and scientists claim that honey is good for health. However, not all honeys are tested to determine if they are healthy. This is done for Manuka honey. Each bottle of Manuka honey goes to the laboratory where different details are tested. They seek to determine what properties honey has to determine its health benefits.
The power of honey comes from its MGO level. The unique Manuka Honey Association gives each honey jar a grading number and its associated MGO number. The higher the MGO number, the stronger the honey and the greater its health benefits.
In addition to grading, Manuka honey also goes through a grading process. The New Zealand Ministry of Industry determines the category of each jar of honey. The first category of Manuka honey includes multi-flowered honey. If a jar of honey meets this classification, it means that it does not contain much methylglyoxal and its MGO level is low. As a result, honey is cheaper.
The second category of manuka honey is monoflora or single flower. If a jar of honey meets this classification, it means that it has a high level of MGO and a large amount of methyl glyoxal in its mixture. Because it has a high MGO level, it has many health benefits, but it is also expensive.
The process of extensive testing of Manuka honey adds a lot of cost to the final price that the consumer has to pay the difference. This difference is basically the salary of scientists and officials who grade honey.
3. Helicopter cost
Access to the growth site of manuka trees is difficult. They are located at high altitudes. The easiest way to reach them is by helicopter. Because beekeepers have to inspect bees regularly, they have to use a lot of helicopters, which can be costly.
4. Low harvest time
One of the biggest reasons why Manuka honey is so expensive is that it can be harvested in a short time. In each season when the tree blooms, harvesters can harvest honey for a period of two weeks to eight weeks. Outside that range, honey is either not ready or not good. Because this honey has a small harvest time, only a small amount is harvested and from the beginning, its demand exceeds its supply.
5. Weather conditions
Many consider manuka honey to be liquid gold. This is because it is very difficult to achieve. One of the factors that affect the harvest of this honey in each season is the weather. Trees are vulnerable during the season. Cold weather is one of the dangers to manuka trees. Because they are located at high altitudes, the temperature can easily get very cold. If the weather is too cold, the trees will not bloom and the bees will not be able to use them.
Another important factor is strong winds. Because manuka trees grow in the highlands, they are exposed to strong winds. Nothing can stop them from being damaged by the wind. Strong winds can destroy their blooms before bees pollinate. These winds also keep bees from flying around. If any of these weather conditions persist for a long time, it can completely ruin the crop. This makes the manuka honey scarce and expensive.
6. Bee health
Trees are not the only major part of the equation for making Manuka honey. Bees are an integral part. They pollinate the tree and make honey with their activity. The problem is that bees can get sick. Not all bee species can live at high altitudes. Even temperature can affect bee performance, and bees can get sick. In some species of bees, if the queen dies, the whole hive dies; If he gets sick, other bees get sick too.
Without bees, there would be no honey. Beekeepers work hard to get the bees to the trees and monitor their health. If a new queen joins the hive or the bees need medical care, they are cared for. It costs a lot to keep bees healthy.
7. UMF rating costs
If one wants a UMF grade honey jar, it can cost a lot. This type of honey is one of the most expensive. This is because UMFHA checks every jar that is sent to them for purity and quality of honey. After submission, the organization conducts a series of tests on the specific properties of honey. They then grade the honey according to their research findings. Each glass will have its own logo and UMF number. The higher the number on the jar, the purer the honey, and pure honey means more health benefits.
The cost of all these tests and quality grades of honey affects its price. This is the cost that the consumer must pay when buying a bottle of high quality honey.
In addition to the weather conditions, there are a small number of manuka trees. Manuka trees produce about 2,800 tons of manuka honey each year. This amount is very small compared to 1.9 million tons of honey produced from other plants. This low production makes Manuka honey extremely rare. Despite the scarcity, the demand for Manuka honey is at its highest. With more people trying to achieve this, suppliers can increase their prices. Under these circumstances, the price of higher quality manuka honey rises again, as higher quality varieties are even rarer than regular or low-grade manuka honey.
One of the rarest types of Manuka honey is the jar labeled with Manuka 24+ honey. If a producer raises his quality so much, he is sitting on a gold mine!
9. Several industries want it
If ordinary buyers were not enough, several other markets are desperately demanding Manuka honey. You will not find Manuka honey in any grocery store. Restaurants were among the first to obtain Manuka honey. They pay a considerable amount to be able to include it in their food. Doing so allows them to prepare rare foods that they can sell at a higher price.
In addition to restaurants, the beauty industry is also interested in Manuka honey. Manuka honey with UMF grade 10+ is ideal for topical use. They use honey to make various creams, ointments and powders that can improve a person’s skin health. The better the quality of honey, the stronger the results. The beauty industry is not afraid to spend a lot of money to buy high quality honey. Given that restaurants and beauty industries consume as much honey as they can, there is little left for independent buyers.
Finally, retail consumers can find some low quality manuka honey packages and if they want higher quality, they should have more budget to supply it.
10. Export costs and shipping costs
Because Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, it must pass through several ports and checkpoints before reaching other countries. Exporting food costs money. Although honey can last for a long time, it is still possible to lose its quality under various conditions of improper transportation and storage.
Of course, protective measures are taken to preserve and keep honey healthy, which are costly. This also leads to an increase in the price of Manuka honey. Of course, this honey will be cheaper in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.
Another factor in price increases is the cost of transportation. When Manuka honey reaches other countries, it must reach its destinations by land or air. Elsewhere, other inspections must be carried out and shipping must be paid for. The rule is simple: the further away from the source of manuka honey, the more expensive it becomes.
What is the UMFHA test for Manuka honey?
There are several characteristics that categorize manuka honeys through the UMFHA test. If the properties are well confirmed in this experiment, the jar will receive a high UMF number. If the properties are not available, the jar will receive less UMF.
Here are the properties that UMFHA tests on Manuka honey:
Many people try to sell other honeys as Manuka honey. This is an easy way to make a lot of money. However, it is also easy to tell if the honey is counterfeit or genuine. UMFHA tests a genetic marker known as leptospirin. This is a genetic factor that only exists in the manuka tree. If honey has this genetic marker, it is valid.
2. Methyl glyoxal
Methylglyoxal is more commonly known as MGO. This is the antibacterial component of Manuka honey, which has its health benefits. The more MGO a jar of honey has, the greater its health benefits. This means that manufacturers can sell it at a higher price. The beauty industry is particularly interested in honey jars that contain high amounts of MGO.
Finally, they test DHA as well. DHA is the concentrated amount of MGO. If the DHA is high, they know that the honey is strong and of higher quality.
Is it worth buying Manuka honey?
If you buy manuka honey for its health benefits, it may be worth it. Scientists have researched Manuka honey and found that it has special properties that can improve your health.
In particular, it has been shown to help treat infected wounds. The idea of rubbing expensive honey on a wound may scare you, but it can help relieve burn pain and even heal the skin. Other skin problems such as eczema and certain types of rashes improve after using health products containing manuka honey.
Manuka honey helps to slow down or prevent the spread of gingivitis. Therefore, it can improve the health of your mouth and teeth, give you a better smell and help you keep your teeth healthy in the long run.
Finally, some studies show that manuka honey can slow or inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
We should know that the price of high quality and original honey and Manuka honey is the same; Because it is very rare in the world. This tree grows only in one place in the world and unfavorable weather conditions can prevent it from flourishing. Because Manuka honey has great health benefits, the beauty industry and the restaurant industry are competing for it. This increases the scarcity of Manuka honey for retail buyers.