Rotorua-based Streamland Honey Plant picked up the emerging exporter award at this year's ExportNZ BOP Awards because of the company's "amazing growth" since being launched in 2014, said the judges.

Streamland has grown its staff from four to 12 and now exports to Australia, China, Singapore and Indonesia, with Japan also likely to be added.

"Streamland Honey has utilised years of knowledge and in-market relationships to launch this new venture strongly into the NZ honey export market," the judges said.

"Having designed their own custom-built plant and differentiated their product range from others, they have maximised their considerable growth of revenue ever since starting only a couple of years ago."

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The company is owned by Brett and Maggie Bargh, with Brett serving as general manager and Maggie as chief director.

Mr Bargh is a former long-time Canon technician who went into sales, while Mrs Bargh is a specialised aviation translator who used to work with Chinese pilots being trained in the United States and elsewhere.

"I understand the technical aspect of the business, and Maggie is very good at developing systems and our marketing relationships," Mr Bargh said.

The couple got into manuka honey in 2009 in a passive investment with majority overseas owners, but in 2013 decided to set up their own business. In 2013 they found and converted a former engineering shed into a 500sq m honey plant, launching the following year.

They source bulk honeys from all over New Zealand, test and grade the honeys, then create their own blends and pack to order. Streamland packs a full range of manuka honey, which carry the UMF quality mark. In November 2014 they launched Lemon 'n Honey and in 2015 Cranberry 'n Honey.

As well as exports, Streamland sells into a number of New Zealand souvenir shops including Aotea Rotorua.

"A lot of this industry is very secretive and competitive, whereas we took an approach of we'd look after the beekeepers, treat them very fairly and pay them on time," he said.

That had resulted in steady referrals, he said, and Streamland also had collaborative working relationships with three other major honey companies.

Winner:

* 2016 ExportNZ Bay of Plenty Awards.

* YOU Travel Emerging Exporter of the Year Award winner.