Australia and New Zealand locked in bitter dispute over Manuka honey

Press/Media: Expert Comment

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“The real core of the debate is in whether Manuka honey is just a descriptive term for a style of honey, which would mean that the Australians can use it as well as the New Zealanders,” Bond University Professor of Law William Van Caenegem said.

“Take kiwifruit for instance. That was a term that was actually developed in NZ, but it’s then become a worldwide descriptor of that sort of fruit.

“Kiwifruit is grown in Europe, and they can still call it that even though it doesn’t come from New Zealand.”

Professor Van Caenegem likened the debate to the European Union’s recent push to confer Geographical Indication (GI) status onto products including feta cheese to prevent Australian producers from using the term.

New Zealand’s hopes hinge on whether they can convince Beijing that “Manuka honey has become explicitly associated with that kind of honey coming from New Zealand”, he said.

Period26 Sep 2019

Media contributions

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Media contributions

  • TitleAustralia and New Zealand locked in bitter dispute over Manuka honey
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletThe New Daily
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date26/09/19
    Description“The real core of the debate is in whether Manuka honey is just a descriptive term for a style of honey, which would mean that the Australians can use it as well as the New Zealanders,” Bond University Professor of Law William Van Caenegem said.

    “Take kiwifruit for instance. That was a term that was actually developed in NZ, but it’s then become a worldwide descriptor of that sort of fruit.

    “Kiwifruit is grown in Europe, and they can still call it that even though it doesn’t come from New Zealand.”

    Professor Van Caenegem likened the debate to the European Union’s recent push to confer Geographical Indication (GI) status onto products including feta cheese to prevent Australian producers from using the term.

    New Zealand’s hopes hinge on whether they can convince Beijing that “Manuka honey has become explicitly associated with that kind of honey coming from New Zealand”, he said.
    PersonsWilliam Van Caenegem