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The Annual

Airborne Honey
MonoFloral Honey Competition/Award

To be awarded to the winner of the

Best Commercial Monofloral Honey

This award is to encourage the awareness of production issues relating to monofloral honeys. This includes all aspects of the documentation, traceability and presentation of the batch of honey. I.e. all the things that would normally have to be done when presenting a parcel of honey to a buyer in order to obtain the best price.

The winner will receive:



A second place winner will receive cash, purhcase bonus and a silver medal – see rules for details.

The prize winning batches will be purchased by Airborne and packaged as New Zealand's Gold and Silver Medal Winning Monofloral Honeys.

This marketing opportunity will be used to promote New Zealand's unique honey types and their value to consumers and thus to the industry.

This competition will also be used to generate awareness of how various management systems may affect the quality of the final product for analytical purposes.

The following two examples are the type of educational information that will be promoted by the competition.

In the case of pollen analysis, stored pollen in combs will contaminate total pollen content of honey. This is often due to honey being taken from brood nest areas where there is extensive stored pollen. Extraction techniques including honey looseners, planning back to the midrib etc. that mix this pollen in with the honey are a problem that producers need to overcome if they are to present examples of honey that are normal for their target honey type. Honeys with significant total pollen content will be scored against.

Running hives without excluders risks the inclusion of brood into the honey supers. Once this has been removed from the hive at harvest time, this brood can die and start to decay. At the point of extraction this decayed brood has the potential to add a significant microbiological loading to the honey, a quality issue that will be scored against. The following rules/conditions will apply to the competition:

  1. This must be a commercial lot of bulk honey of not less than 1200 kilos (4 drums)
  2. The winning batch will be purchased by Airborne as part of the conditions of entry.
  3. The lot will be judged on one representative sample of the bulk lot taken in accordance with the industry sampling system (published in 1991 in The Beekeeper magazine). The equivalent Airborne representative sample system is described here.
  4. The representative sample must be two 500gm containers of honey.
  5. The representative sample must be supplied with records to establish a competent record keeping system including:
    - Complete and accurate harvest declaration,
    Tutin compliance,
    RMP certificate
    AFB PMS compliance.
  6. There is a limit of one entry per enterprise/operator.
  7. Entries close on the 31st of May (to enable time for analysis of samples).
  8. The sample will be judged on the criteria/parameters laid out in the Industry Honey Standards.
  9. Analysis of the sample will be carried out by Airborne Honey Ltd.
    Samples are to be sent to Kay at Airborne Honey Ltd., 41 Pennington St., Leeston.
  10. Samples will be decanted to individual coded containers. These anonymous samples will be provided along with analytical results for each sample to the judges.
  11. Parameters will be judged according to the following criterion:
    - Colour, closest to average for the target honey type.
    Moisture content: Lowest will be best.
    Target pollen (if any) percentage, highest will be best.
    Total pollen, closest to average for target honey type.
    Conductivity (for honeydew) highest is best, others, closest to average for target honey type.
    Sugars, closest to average for target honey type.
    HMF: Lowest will be best.
  12. Additionally honeys that fail on the following will be disqualified.
    Moisture over 18.5%
    HMF over 5 ppm
    APC over 100 cfu
    BC over 100 cfu
  13. To be Judged by Maureen Maxwell, Peter Bray and one other industry representative judge.
  14. Judges decision to be final and binding.
  15. First prize winner will receive $1,000 in cash, the gold medal and the Airborne Monofloral Trophy.
  16. First prize winner will also receive a payment for their honey upon purchase by Airborne (part of the conditions of entry) set at $1.00 per kilo more than Airborne’s average purchase price for that honey type. Therefore the winner will receive at least $2,200 in benefits (dependent on the size of the batch).
  17. The first place winner will receive the Airborne Monofloral Honey Trophy.
  18. Prize winners agree to be part of the publicity that is generated with this competition including photos of themselves and perhaps some of their production sites.
  19. Second prize winner will receive a silver medal, $500 in cash, plus a payment for the parcel of honey that is $0.50 per kilo above Airborne’s average price for that honey type.
  20. Airborne may exercise the option of purchasing other lots entered in the competition.
  21. Other conditions will apply i.e. the winner must be able to comply with Airborne's normal contractual purchase conditions, a copy of which can be made available if requested. One key issue will be the release of apiary data information (a normal procees for all suppliers to Airborne Honey Ltd.) to enable Airborne to trace the batch to apiary locations according to their normal marketing claims. This information is held in the strictest confidence, a process that has been successfully managed by Airborne with its suppliers for over 20 years.

Airborne’s intention will be to produce limited edition gold and silver packs of these two batches of honey.

Airborne intends to generate significant publicity around this award and the subsequent release of a limited edition product or products. It is envisaged that this will be a major annual event that consumers and the trade will look forward to and will thus provide significant media opportunities.

This is what Airborne does best. Our products excel in this sector of the market. We are proud to be the pioneer and long term champion for this sector and the opportunities that arise from it for the producer. The large increases in honey prices that can be achieved by marketing high quality monofloral honeys to the consumer make their way back into the producer's pocket, strengthening the industry and generating diversity, opportunity and ultimately profitability

These rules are also available as a PDF for download here.

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