5-speed listening (Manuka Honey - Level 3)

New Zealand loses manuka honey trademark battle



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Manuka honey is world famous for its taste and quality. It is produced by European honey bees feeding on the nectar of the manuka tree. This tree grows throughout New Zealand and in some parts of Australia. For over a decade, there has been a trademark battle between the two countries. The New Zealand honey industry wanted manuka to become a trademark. This would mean only New Zealand beekeepers could use the word "manuka". However, Australia said this was wrong because it also produced manuka honey. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand decided that no one could trademark the word "manuka". This means Australian beekeepers can use the word.

The word "manuka" is from the Maori language. New Zealand beekeepers said because of this, no other country could use the word "manuka" for its honey. They said manuka was a "treasured" NZ species. New Zealand's manuka beekeepers said the trademark decision was disappointing. They said New Zealand would continue to fight to protect its honey. In Australia, the manuka tree is called the "tea tree". The Australian Manuka Honey Association said it was "delighted" with the decision. It said: "Our product has a long history of being recognized as manuka honey. It is produced like the NZ product is, and it also offers the [health benefits] that consumers value so highly."

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