FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Manuka Honey



Q   Does Northland honey taste different from other Manuka honeys?

Yes. It is subtly different.  The taste of Northland Manuka honey is more robust and caramel, and often a darker colour than Manuka from other regions.

Q   Can I take this product home with me if I live overseas?  

You cannot take honey to Western Australia, or New Caledonia.  Other countries are fine.  And yes you can post small quantities of honey overseas.  If travelling by plane please ensure your honey is packed in your checked in luggage.  Honey products over 100ml are not permitted in hand luggage.

Q    Can I send honey by post?

If you are in New Zealand and sending honey overseas you may have problems if you are trying to post or courier honey overseas.  This is due to our regulations as well as some overseas countries requirements. You are welcome to ask us to send honey on your behalf.

Q   How do I know that the activity level is correct?

You can trace the origins of your purchase and view the independent laboratory report for your batch of honey, by searching the batch number on the Kāre website – www.kare.co.nz

Q   Why are the high UMF Manuka Honeys so expensive?

Manuka honey is a natural product made by bees from nectar from the wild manuka tree. Demand outstrips supply, so it has pushed the price up.  What is not apparent to many people is the fact that only a few manuka honeys are capable of reaching high activity levels.  These honeys must be stored at prescribed temperatures for a period of time to allow the activity level to grow and mature.  Our UMF20+ honey has usually been stored in barrels for 2 years before it is ready to be processed.

Q   What does UMF mean?

It stands for Unique Manuka Factor. Only UMF licence holders can use the UMF logo.  UNIQUE MANUKA FACTOR UMF® is arguably the most trusted, easily understood and reliable standard for ensuring you are buying the best Manuka Honey.

Q   What is the advantage of a UMF rated honey over other manuka honeys.

Only UMF Manuka honeys are guaranteed true to label. The UMF grading system has two components which are expressed on any UMF licenced honey product:

  1. The label claim that it is Manuka
  2. The number – this represents three chemical markers that indicate the content of this honey to ensure purity and quality. This includes the key chemical markers DHA, MGO, and Leptosperin.

Q  Are other manuka honey gradings such as Active +, Bioactive +, Total activity level etc the same as UMF?

None of these grading systems are now permitted on New Zealand Manuka honeys. The only two grading systems acceptable to the New Zealand government are UMF and Methylglyoxal. (MG or MGO)

Q   How does MG / MGO compare with UMF?

Refer table below


Methylglyoxal Level UMF® Grade
≥83 mg/kg 5+
≥263 mg/kg 10+
≥514 mg/kg 15+
≥573 mg/kg 16+
≥696 mg/kg 18+
≥829 mg/kg 20+




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