Hi there Kathleen!
There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Manuka honey, we're always happy to answer questions and clear up concerns! In February of 2018, the New Zealand government and their Ministry for Primary Industries (or MPI) launched a definition for Manuka honey – this standard was created after 3 years of peer-reviewed study and has determined that all monofloral (KFactor 16) and multifloral (KFactor 12) Manuka honey must consist of five attributes – four chemical markers and one DNA marker from Manuka pollen. It important to note that methylglyoxal (MGO) is not one of these attributes and is proven to be unstable overtime and temperature variations.
Our Manuka’s meet and exceed those expectations, which is why Wedderspoon has been the leaders in the industry for over a decade now, and our certificate of authenticity is on every jar; the Fernmark seal. The Fernmark is endorsed by the New Zealand government for products that meet specific eligibility criteria, including being produced and packed in New Zealand. This mark of authenticity also verifies our ability to meet New Zealand government traceability requirements, which include origin from master beekeeper to point of export from New Zealand. Within the traceability requirements, there are very stringent export guidelines for Manuka honey that are part of New Zealand legislation.
Grading systems that rely on measuring isolated compounds within Manuka honey, whether it be MGO or the trademarked UMF membership organization, are inherently limited by the fact that chemistry can capture data at one moment of time and MGO is proven to be unstable over time and temperature variation. While all of us at Wedderspoon are aware of the marketing buzz that a high MGO or UMF rating might add to our products on the shelf, our team believes that protecting and promoting the natural state of raw Manuka honey best honors the legacy of our founders, the passion of our beekeepers and the holistic health of our customers. Manuka honey is made up of a number of distinct components, elements, and micro-nutrients which work in harmony to produce this multifaceted superfood. Manuka is simply more powerful than the sum of its parts.
We hope this information helps, but feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions you may have! We are available Monday-Friday 8am-4pm EST.
- The Wedderspoon Hive