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Rob's BP

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Rob's BP last won the day on October 22 2020

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  1. Ok, I'll take the bait @Grant and get the conversation rolling. I agree, bee-collected pollen is a super food. It was one of the products I managed from a marketing role, I understood it's various stages of production, and I sold it in a sales and promotion role. Not that I'm saying I'm a know it all, but I do know some things despite not being a hands on beekeeper. I entered the industry in 1999, when the Bee Pollen wars were raging. Potentiated Pollen vs natural bee pollen. There were advertisements and advertorials on radio, tv and print media. The then mayor of Auckland John Banks bought into the Ben Cook's Potentiated Pollen business Topline International, and they made incredible amounts of $ and were living lives of excess before they sued each other and exposed it all in a court case. John Banks tells court ex-business partner was a greedy cheat - NZ Herald WWW.NZHERALD.CO.NZ Latest breaking news articles, photos, video, blogs, reviews, analysis, opinion and reader comment from New Zealand and around the World - NZ Herald And yes there were extreme claims and false advertising made. It was quite a time! Since Ben Cook and Topline moved to the US to continue and expand internationally, the NZ pollen market quietened down. Partly due to less media spend and partly due to increased production quality requirements, and the viability of beekeeper's effort/reward ratio and the opportunity cost forgone from other income streams, which resulted in much increased production costs and lower consumer demand. Prices when I started were ~$35/kg from the beekeeper. Our main competition internationally was Spanish bee pollen which sold for a fraction of ours, like 15% of our price, lower than what we could buy the raw product from NZ. Chinese pollen too is much cheaper than NZ's. Note foreign pollen tended to be monocoloured, whereas NZ pollen tends to have more colour and therefore bioflavonoid diversity.
  2. That is so true, even more so with acquisitions. Comvita's made many acquisitions over the past 20 years, of products outside their core bee products range, and other 'investments', sunk lots of $$$, all of which have destroyed shareholder equity; most of which sunk without a trace. And then you could look at the many, many, many millions of dollars wasted on new product development, marketing, advertising, supply chain costs etc. of loss making new products that were quickly deleted... About 20 years ago the General Manager, when discussing the annual profit result with the staff, asked me if the shareholder could have got a better result by placing his investment in the bank. The answer then was yes and it probably would have been every year since then too, at least in aggregate. Too bad for most of the subsequent shareholders, who have seen a significant erosion of shareholder value and financial under performance. But I'm not saying anything you don't already know...
  3. It's (misleading/click bait) title is "Bay of Plenty manuka honey exporter Comvita eyes up new industry" It's mostly generic fluff about Comvita, occasioned due to promoting Bee Aware Month, and the headlined "new industry" "is the manuka plantations and cultivar programme that has been running for 12 years.
  4. I am working with a beek on this site, specifically for non-Manuka. Pricing is closer to yours than $20/kg. Like all of us, I wish the market response was better.
  5. That's pretty correct in the case of one NZ base and owned company (since sold completely to offshore interests). We were competing against them hard and frustrated by their lower pricing, retailer deals, and NZ branding. We tested their product and found it was Chinese origin. I asked their CEO/owner about it, and he said "yes, it has NZ orgin. I have a beehive in my garden and the propolis from that goes into our products"!
  6. Maybe if you looked back to the past, when and why decisions to import were made, you would see why we have the present situation. I know there was frustration for about a decade of not getting enough propolis from NZ beeks to satisfy overseas demand. The companies tried all things to get beeks to produce propolis. Most beeks saw it as a nuisance, undesirable, a hassle, a skin allergenic, not worth their time, something they might only do when they had nothing else to do, especially when they were making so much from 'manuka'. Buyers eventually had no other option from volume and cost basis to legally import, add cost and value here before selling. And now that these supply chains are set up and working well, NZ beeks neeed to sell propolis...
  7. We sell much, much more propolis than NZ produces despite all the buyers efforts and financial inducements to stimulate NZ beeks to produce more. Would NZ beeks produce/sell for the costs overseas producers do? Non Manuka beekeepers are getting close to international honey prices, to get to international propolis prices would need a similar reduction in sales prices. There are apiarists overseas who specialise in propolis production, like you specialise in honey production. They get paid so little for honey that they get paid more for producing propolis.
  8. How politically incorrect is the name "Blackbutt"? Think a name change could be called for? e.g. Eskimo Pies...
  9. Or https://www.pollensmart.co.nz/
  10. Agree that propolis is a very complex product. From memory there are about 200 chemical components in Propolis, with more still undiscovered, and these components vary depending on plant source. wrt not routinely tested: Several companies market their propolis on it's flavonoid level and/or CAPE. Therefore each batch will be tested. Do the companies do this in-house? Besides the active/beneficial compounds, propolis can contain contaminents, e.g. it used to contain lead from paint and fuel exhausts, perhaps contaminants get tested too?
  11. I've seen sites where lines of hives had a roof over them, but no walls, so bees are free to leave and act naturally. Besides the active ingredients, they test for Chloramphenicol and Streptomycin were the main contaminants tested and reported on. There were strict penalties imposed by te manufacturer on collectives and individual beekeeper families found to contain these contaminants, so there was a collective peer pressure and regulation by the collective on each producing family in addition to self regulation.
  12. In no particular order: Factors that relate to consistently high honey production e.g. climate & flower sources. Bees need plenty of supplies to consistently generate lots of RJ in addition to their other activities Economies of scale. I've been in warehouses and freezers containing untold tons of RJ, where one batch is a metric ton. Think of how many cell-scoops that is... Specialisation, these people specialise in RJ production, they're not doing it as a bit on the side while e.g. chasing higher value honey crops. This is a whole family vocation. And several factors related to specialisation e.g. systems, supporting human resources, cooperatives, training, chemical testing, skill, speed and dexterity - you should see these people go! FYI, here's a pretty good video of the family production end of the supply chain
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