How Much UMF/MGO Manuka Honey Is Made?

UMF and MGO are the two rating systems used by New Zealand honey companies to grade the premium manuka honeys.

According to the UMFHA, the main trade association of New Zealand manuka honey producers, about 1,700 tonnes of manuka honey are produced each year.

How much honey of each grade is produced?

Mark Harvey, Managing Director of honey firm Happy Valley, estimates the proportions of manuka honey by UMF grade are as shown in the table below, based on his years of experience knowing the quantities of manuka honey made available for sale by New Zealand beekeepers.

UMF GradeAnnual Production (tonnes, approx.)% of TotalMGO (methylglyoxal)
UMF 20+50 t3%829+
UMF 15+200 t12%514+
UMF 10+500 t30%263+
UMF 5+750 t45%83+
Below 5 *200 t10%Below 83

* Includes manuka honey incorporated in manuka blends, “total activity” and “bio-active” manuka honey.

Honeys carrying ratings other than UMF or MGO, such as “Active”, “Bio-active” or “Total activity” would likely fall into the bottom one or two grades in this table if lab-tested to the rigorous UMF standards.

The highest grades of manuka honey, UMF 15+ (MGO 514+) and UMF 20+ (MGO 829+) are in high demand. Manuka honey of these grades is scarce because only a small proportion of manuka honey produced possesses those high concentrations of methylglyoxal.

 

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