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The New Zealand RAW Honey Company’s Rata Honey has scooped a gold and two silver medals in the 2019 London International Honey Awards (LIHA), announced at a ceremony held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Docklands Riverside on 12 May.

The company won a Gold Quality Honey award for its single batch RAW Rata Honey, and two Silver awards in the design section of the competition, one each for the RAW Rata Honey’s label and its total overall image.

Products entered in the LIHA Quality Honey section are blind tasted by a panel of 12 international expert judges from a variety of professions and backgrounds including agricultural research and economics, beekeeping, and food and beverage. For the Quality Honey Awards each judge carries out an organoleptic analysis of the products and records a numerical rating, which represents the general sense of enjoyment (this weighs the most in the final rating) as well as other criteria, such as appearance, odour, texture, flavour and mouth-feel.

The design section of the awards is judged by a separate panel of nine judges from around the world from a variety of design backgrounds and professions. In each section, the winning honey products are awarded either Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.

The New Zealand RAW Honey Company’s RAW Rata Honey is single batch, non-blended and minimally processed honey, straight from Master Beekeepers’ hives on the South Island’s West Coast. Single batch RAW honey captures the distinctive floral sources around each apiary and varies slightly from batch to batch. The honey is not heated beyond natural hive temperatures, and not creamed so it retains its full flavour and health enzyme levels.

“In my 13 years working with honey, RAW Rata Honey is in my top five honeys – they stick in your mind, the ones you think are really, really good,” says New Zealand RAW Honey Company Director Terry Bone (pictured). “We had been travelling to our beekeeping sites around New Zealand and discovering that the beekeepers’ favourite honeys to eat were raw, straight from the hive. We thought if it’s the beekeepers’ choice, then it must be outstanding and wanted to share this with our customers. We also did some tastings here in Nelson, and a lot of the comments we had from people is that this honey tastes like the honey they had when they were kids.”

In an independent test commissioned by the company in late 2018, RAW Rata Honey was found to have more than two times the amount of invertase, one of the essential enzymes nature uses to help us digest sugars, as standard honey.

“There is quite a bit of research available that shows Raw/unprocessed honey has more enzymes than conventional honey,” says Terry Bone. “That is what led us to get ours tested.” 

“Commonly found in bee pollen, the enzyme invertase plays a key role in digestive processes and in overall human disease prevention, physical rejuvenation and anti-ageing. As we age, we have less access to this natural enzyme, resulting in a reduced ability to extract vital nutrients from the food we eat. Invertase helps our bodies to absorb and digest the good forms of sugars and carbohydrates needed for energy.”

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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