Mānuka honey comes from bees that pollinate Leptospermum scoparium, or the mānuka bush, which grows predominantly in New Zealand and also in Australia. Other species of this bush grow all over the world, but do not produce the flowers bees need in order to produce Mānuka honey.
The origins of the word “mānuka” are Maori, the native language of New Zealand, and certain parties argue that only certified New Zealand Mānuka honey should actually bear the
name. While the plant grows in both locations, it is apparently much more common in New Zealand, leaving the Australian market to work with limited resources as demand rises.
The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association bestows a quality trademark upon Mānuka honey, and works with growers and producers to inform the public about the product’s benefits. The association maintains standards that brands bearing its trademark have to uphold to retain the label, and it hires independent companies to check samples of products. It is also leading the charge to trademark the name, and last year filed an application with the government to protect the product.