Tuesday, 11 February 2020 10:20

Supermarkets putting the squeeze on beekeepers

Written by  Pam Tipa
Supermarkets have cut the price paid to suppliers, but haven’t cut the price on the shop shelf, claims Lorimer. Supermarkets have cut the price paid to suppliers, but haven’t cut the price on the shop shelf, claims Lorimer.

Supermarkets have put the squeeze on beekeepers who supply them, claims Jane Lorimer, NZ Beekeeping president.

Read: Smaller beekeeper operations are struggling with non-manuka honey returns falling from $10-$12/kg two years ago to about $4/kg this year. 

They have cut the price paid to suppliers, but haven’t cut the price on the shop shelf. So consumers still see honey as really expensive.

“We have cut back but the supermarkets are making more money out of their product. We definitely had the squeeze put on us ‘drop your price or you are out’.”

Head of corporate affairs, Foodstuffs NZ, Antoinette Laird, told Rural News there is currently an over-supply of non-manuka honey varieties in the market which has softened retail prices. 

“This is great for shoppers who benefit as honey prices drop - but we do recognise this common supply and demand outcome challenges the supplier community,” she says.  

“Last year 500g of Pams Clover Creamed Honey retailed at $12.49 and today costs $6.99 at New World, while Airborne Honey Liquid 500g, which retailed $12.19 in 2019 is now on-shelf at $7.99 – making New Zealand produced honey a very affordable option for more of our customers.”

A Countdown supermarket spokesperson told Rural News the price of honey spiked a couple of years ago and it’s now coming back down due to the changed manuka regulations and an over-supply of clover and blended honeys.  

“Our honey prices have dropped about 15% in the last year. Previously the high honey prices meant it was becoming too expensive for customers to choose honey as a spread or ingredient, but we’re starting to see honey sales pick up again now that it’s more affordable for customers.”

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