MPI (the Ministry for Primary Industries) published a proposed GREX for honey in April 2017. This is subject to a period of consultation, before being finalised in mid-2017. It is expected to come into force on 1 August 2017, at which point it will apply to honey being exported from New Zealand.
Details of the proposed GREX can be found on the MPI website. Submissions on the proposed GREX are able to be made during the consultation period, and there is a helpful guidance document provided on the MPI website to assist those wishing to do this.
What Is A GREX?
According to MPI a GREX is defined as follows:
General Requirements for Export (GREX) advises of requirements that are required to be met to allow export that are not country specific.
In other words, these requirements apply to all honey that is being exported from New Zealand, regardless of the country that the honey is being exported to.
What Is Included In The Proposed GREX?
The proposed GREX published in April 2017 includes the following testing requirements, all of which are able to be carried out by Analytica:
Tutin – the existing requirement for honey to contain no more than 0.7 mg/kg of tutin remains in place.
MPI Manuka Chemical Markers – for honey labelled as either monofloral manuka or multifloral manuka, there are minimum amounts of 4 separate chemical markers that are required to be met.
MPI Manuka Pollen - for honey labelled as either monofloral manuka or multifloral manuka, there is a minimum amounts of manuka pollen required to be in the honey, measured using an MPI approved DNA test.
The proposed GREX also includes other requirements for beekeepers, such as not feeding hives with any sugar supplements other than honey during the honey production season, and that honey is not harvested from comb that is or has previously been part of a brood nest. For full details, download and read the proposed GREX from the MPI website.
Who Is Approved By MPI To Test Honey To Meet GREX Requirements?
MPI runs a Recognised Laboratory Programme, and approves laboratories to carry out certain tests which it has an interest in. Analytica has been an approved laboratory for some time for tutin testing.
With the introduction of new tests for manuka honey under the proposed GREX, MPI has used a special approval (called Limited Recognition) to approve laboratories to undertake testing for these new tests. At this stage Analytica has received this approval for MPI Manuka Chemical Marker testing, because of its experience with this type of testing.
In future, any laboratory can apply to be approved to carry out this testing by MPI by following the normal process of being audited by IANZ and then subsequently approved by MPI (subject to a satisfactory audit outcome).