Comvita has partnered with rural investment company MyFarm to offer New Zealanders the opportunity to own mānuka plantations for honey production.
MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters said the collaboration was the first large scale mānuka investment of its kind in New Zealand and signalled a new era for North Island hill country profitability for specific locations.
"This partnership and investment opportunity ticks all the boxes. It will increase export returns from high value mānuka honey and generate excellent returns for investors. From an environmental perspective, we are storing carbon, reducing soil sediment loss and improving biodiversity. We don't foresee a more green investment than this."
Investors in Waimarie Mānuka Limited Partnership would own 1800 hectares of lower North Island hill country which would be developed and share-farmed by Comvita.
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Returns will commence from year one and are forecast to grow to double digit returns from year five on. The agreement sees the partnership and Comvita sharing in the honey and carbon revenue generated from the two properties being purchased.
MyFarm said in a statement unique mānuka factor (UMF) honey had unique scientifically proven antimicrobial properties that were different to other types of honey and was in high demand for a wide range of applications from food and beverage to cosmetics, nutraceuticals and medical dressings.
Comvita had a strategy to increase its supply of high UMF honey by breeding genetically superior mānuka plants and increasing plantings in New Zealand's best growing locations.
Honey from naturally grown mānuka typically had an average UMF rating of 6-7. In contrast, it was expected that honey produced from Comvita's mānuka varieties would have average UMF ratings of greater than 10+.
The offer to invest in Waimarie Mānuka Limited Partnership was open to wholesale investors from a minimum investment of $100,000. MyFarm was seeking to raise $8.1 million and the offer closes December 6. More information can be found here.