All About Tahi Manuka Honey

Tahi Honey is a branch of long-established family involvement in honey, Pearson Brothers Honey. Pearson Brothers Honey was established in Hamilton in 1888 and kept hives in the Waikato, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. Their processing facilities were in Hamilton.

Tom and Alby Pearson were brought up in Hamilton (city, North Island) and together established the company. They taught beekeeping to one son and their nephew, Howard Pollard, and Howard continued the business.

Howard then taught his nephew, John Craig, how to keep bees and gave him his first hive. John is the registered beekeeper at Tahi and his daughter, Suzan, is the majority owner. So, while there have been several beekeepers with different names, Tahi continues a family tradition that stretches back 128 years.

Tahi adopted a business model which incorporates the Zeitz Foundation’s philosophy of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. Tahi believes that their business is just a small part of a wider Community that is key to providing a service to customers and to increasing the well being of their staff. The Community has a Cultural heart that keeps it functioning. So without Conservation, Community and Culture, it is almost impossible to be a viable Commercial entity.

The Nested Model of Sustainability is a useful tool to describe the relationship between people, business and the environment. The biosphere (environment) is a source of energy, air, land, water, materials, ecosystems and habitats. It is clear that the health and well being of human society depends on a functioning environment. In turn, the business economy and wealth depend upon a functioning society as well as a healthy environment. This reality underpins the Tahi approach to business.

Over the years, Tahi Estate made significant achievements in the following areas;

– Habitat Enrichment/creation

– Resurrect Ecosystems

– Development of Wetlands

– Pest Management

– Reafforestation

– Balancing Bees and other Biodiversity

– Restoration Programme for Rare and Endangered Species

Typically, when honey is extracted from hives many commercial companies remove all the honey and pollen, leaving nothing for the bees to feed on over winter. Instead of having their own rich natural honey and pollen to eat, they are supplemented with sugar water made from corn syrup or white sugar. Supplementing beehives with sugar can lead to weakened hives, and it has been suggested that it is a contributing factor in colony collapse.

At Tahi, when the honey is harvested, sufficient honey is left to make sure the bees remain healthy during winter, with enough still available for building the number of bees in spring, prior to the nectar flow. This honey contains the critical natural and diverse sources of carbohydrate and protein needed for them to remain healthy.

Research about the effectiveness of honey on wound healing conducted on animals showed that honey from bees fed with sugar was less effective in reducing inflammation than honey from bees that produced floral honey.

Tahi Honey is gathered from diverse, wild habitats around Northland, New Zealand instead of mono-floral commercial orchards. Honey bees are able to obtain all their nutrients naturally if they are in a natural environment. In this type of environment bees are able to collect many different sorts of pollen. It is known that pollen from a variety of sources makes bees more resistant to stresses by enhancing their immune systems.

Tahi is a licence holder of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA), licence number 2035.

The UMF® trademark is a quality trademark that is internationally verified and recognised. UMF® is supported by an industry quality standard, independent audits and by an evaluation from accredited laboratories. This trademark is your guarantee that you are buying genuine manuka honey.

Honey that carries the UMF® brand must follow strict guidelines, as outlined below:

    - UMF® is clearly stated on the front label.
    - The product is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.
    - It is from a New Zealand company licensed by the UMFHA to use the name UMF®.
    - It has the UMF® licensee's name on the front label.
    - It has a rating of UMF® 5+ or more.

Tahi is vertically integrated (from hive to processing factory) which allows control of honey from the flower source to the shelf, to preserve the purity, nutritional qualities and flavour of the raw honey that is harvested.

The hives are placed to ensure that the source of the honey is as natural as possible and will always include manuka. All Tahi honey is traceable back to the hive that produced it and only honey produced by Tahi’s hives is branded with our label.

Tahi has its own processing factory where strict controls are in place on all aspects of honey processing and packaging. Tahi’s processing practices ensure that the honey retains all its natural properties and guarantees that your honey is raw, pure and undamaged by heat.

The super taste of Tahi honey comes from the fact that all Tahi honey is treated with care. Tahi honey is authentic, undamaged and raw. Tahi Honey is the way nature intended.

The UMF® trademark is your guarantee that Tahi honey is manuka honey. It contains all of the natural and unique properties of manuka honey. High levels of natural pollens remain in Tahi Honey.

Processing practices at Tahi ensure that honey is not exposed to high heat, which destroys the natural properties. Unlike many honeys on the market, it is not pasteurised and it contains no additional water. Tahi honey is never treated to temperatures over 450C.

Tahi’s honey is not damaged by aggressive filtration. It contains high levels of natural pollens. Common commercial practices mean that much of the honey available on the market is highly filtered to remove all pollen and microscopic particles, therefore damaging its natural composition. This method is used because these particles can act as a nucleation point to start the crystallisation process. Tahi eliminates the need to aggressively filter as due to seeding the crystallisation of honey with finely crystallised manuka honey. In contrast, commercial runny honeys have been subjected to high temperatures and aggressive filtering; without this, they would crystallise.