First lets talk about what is Manuka Honey and why is it so "expensive"?
Mānuka honey comes from New Zealand, where bees pollinate the native Mānuka bush. The plant has been a cornerstone of Maori medicine for centuries, and honey made from its nectar is thought to have a wide range of benefits like immune and digestive support along with skin-healing properties. It has a grittier texture than other types of honey, and a strong floral, sometimes bitter taste. While research is still limited, mānuka honey’s healing properties are thought to come from its high levels of an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal. “All honey has methylglyoxal, but mānuka honey has extremely high levels of it, which is what makes it such a beautiful product,” says Luke Harwood, who co-owns Activist with his wife, Gabrielle Mirkin. “It’s amazing for immune support, digestive support, topical breakouts, and more."
The cost of genuine manuka honey is a reflection of its rarity, since this honey can only be made when the mānuka bush flowers for a few short weeks between spring and early summer. The window is brief—anywhere from two to six weeks depending on the year—and attempting to prolong the harvest period can introduce other nectar and subsequently diminish potency.
What makes Activist Manuka so special?
Unfortunately most of the Mānuka on the shelves is either blended, creamed or heated and because of this, loses a lot of anti-bacterial and health benefits through the process of dilution. The majority of New Zealand Mānuka honey is sold offshore to large international companies. These companies dilute and label the product outside of New Zealand regulations. They then on-sell it as premium Mānuka honey while falsely claiming its active benefits nor meeting New Zealand Mānuka honey certification standards. This leaves the customer little confidence and knowledge to know what they are buying and what the rating of the Mānuka product is measured against. Activist's brand and business are built on the genuine fact that their products are 100% Grade A raw Mānuka honey from New Zealand.'
The benefits of genuine raw Manuka honey:
Along with anti-inflammatory effects, this honey has incredible value as a wound dressing—with efficacy even against antibiotic-resistant microbes. Mānuka honey benefits are wide, including helping with digestive issues; low stomach acid and acid reflux; treating acne and eczema; combatting Staph infections; treating burns, wounds and ulcers; preventing tooth decay and gingivitis; improving sore throats and immunity; helping with allergies; improving sleep. Mānuka honey is a beautiful raw resource for using as a beauty and skincare product – our favorite way to use Activist is straight out of the jar for a nightly face mask and also as a face cleanser!
How sustainabilty is at the forefront of Activist's business:
Activist hives are located in unique, pristine and isolated regions of New Zealand, which is typically a great start for the bee’s health as these locations are free of GMOs and urban toxins. According to founders Gabrielle and Luke "It is also crucial that we do not overpopulate our locations with many hives. We keep our hives at lower numbers in these dense locations and what this does is encourage the bees to flourish and pollinate for ethical harvesting and productivity; but most importantly bee health. "ACTIVIST® Mānuka is not dictated by commodity, but by passion for the greater ecosystem. After all, bees are our local heroes and they are truly our environmental indicators. The Activist goal is to build a sustainable business while nurturing and celebrating the craft of beekeeping and the special resource of Mānuka Honey in native New Zealand; taking a truly authentic story and product to the world.
Activist founders say "People ask why we chose to use PET vessels for our honey. New Zealand is a small and isolated country, which affects its resources and manufacturing abilities. Activist works with PET plastic over glass because it allows us to produce and build a contemporary container, made in New Zealand using BPA-free recycled plastic. It is important to us to not waste resources or add to further global environmental pressures on our ecosystem by importing and exporting glass. We want our carbon footprint to be as minimal as possible during our time here on this planet. We are also passionate about supporting existing local New Zealand trades.
The founders Gabrielle and Luke both native New Zealanders, pride themselves on their small, sustainable business that prioritizes potency and transparency.