WildCape’s single source Manuka honey is the only UMF™ certified Manuka honey from New Zealand harvested exclusively from the East Cape region. Due to its unique climate and unspoiled wilderness, the region produces some of the finest Manuka honey in the world. East Cape Manuka honey is naturally high in Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the precursor to Methylglyoxal (MGO). The result is Manuka honey with a consistently higher Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). See the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association website for more information: UMFHA
WildCape is also one of the few producers to harvest and market its own Manuka honey. Most other Manuka honey brands simply outsource the honey production process.
In charge of the entire operation is WildCape founder, Bill Savage. As you might imagine, he and his team have a lot going on. Let’s have a look behind the scenes and learn more about Manuka honey production process, and see what makes WildCape’s pure New Zealand Manuka honey so unique.
When It Comes to New Zealand Manuka Honey, Why Does Single Source Matter?
Some manufacturers in the Manuka honey industry ‘bulk blend’ their honey. In other words, they combine New Zealand honey from several beekeepers across different regions of the country. The result is a product that can’t be traced back to one location. Every batch of WildCape’s single source Manuka honey can easily be traced back to the exact location where it was harvested. We work to ensure that this is carefully monitored and tracked. This gives you, the consumer, peace of mind. If the label says WildCape, you know it’s UMF certified pure East Cape Manuka honey. And that it’s traceable back to its original source.
At WildCape we manage every step of the process. Our 15 local beekeepers care for our 6,000+ hives across more than 200 sites and the specialist extraction and processing team pack and label every jar by hand. Our hives are dispersed throughout the East Cape region. The honey gets packed and labeled in our special processing facility in Gisborne where strict quality procedures are followed. When harvest time comes the precious Manuka honey is carefully gathered and brought back to this facility. Whilst the honey is packed and labeled, samples are sent away to an independent lab. Our honey is independently tested in New Zealand by Analytica Laboratories to determine the Unique Manuka Factor of each batch of WildCape Manuka Honey.
We work closely with the NZ Ministry of Primary Industries to ensure sustainability remains at the forefront of our operations. The MPI is the perfect partner, as they ensure that risk management is kept in check with a proper risk management program (RMP) and that the natural environment is considered first and foremost. It is crucial to us that our product is sustainably harvested and leaves a positive environmental impact.
Proof That You Have Single Source Manuka Honey from New Zealand's East Cape
How can you be sure that your jar contains true authentic Manuka honey from New Zealand? Each jar of WildCape Manuka Honey displays a unique batch code that can be used to identify the exact batch of Manuka honey, with its Unique Manuka Factor. Ensuring your jar of Manuka honey is pure.
The UMF is determined by several key compounds naturally found in quality Manuka honey. The most significant compound is MGO, which is the main natural health component of real MGO Manuka honey.
Users of our Manuka honey love the traceability factor. Have a jar of WildCape you’d like to trace back to its source? Search for your batch here.
About the Owner and Founder of WildCape
WildCape founder (and still head beekeeper), Bill Savage, wakes up every morning at a ridiculous hour, to tend to his many beehives spread out across the East Cape region. But this is what he loves doing. The drive into work is, for the most part, a winding dirt road through densely populated manuka bushes. It zig-zags through miles of rugged coastline, along golden sand beaches that separate the headlands from the mighty Pacific Ocean.
Bill isn’t only passionate about beekeeping, but he thoroughly enjoys the entire production process. WildCape is one of the few Manuka honey producers who handle the entire process internally. Bill oversees the entire operation, from placing the queen bee, to jarring, labeling, and finally selling each jar.
He is as passionate about Manuka honey production as he was when he started his operation more than three decades ago. If there’s someone who understands New Zealand Manuka honey production and trade, it’s Bill.
Bill has a special connection with the East Cape – a deep love and respect for the land, and most importantly the people who inhabit it. WildCape’s staff is the company’s backbone, and according to Bill, its most valuable asset. He prefers to work on a profit-sharing basis with his team of beekeepers and collaborative land owners, so that they can share their successes and failures as a team.
Paradise: The East Cape of New Zealand
“Most mornings, while tending to our bees, we rub our sticky eyes in disbelief that we get to call this place home. It’s paradise, mate.” – WildCape beekeeper
Most of the East Cape locals have lived here for years and are still completely in love with this secluded slice of paradise. There are few places left where the air is as crisp and the seas are as clean as the East Cape of New Zealand.
Geographically isolated by the Raukumara mountain range to the west, this region has remained for the most part unpopulated and unspoiled. Stretched out along the coastline one can see large areas of virgin forest. Due to the rugged topography of this remote region, farming is not as intensive as in other areas of New Zealand. The lack of pasture means our hive locations are not sprayed with harmful pesticides and herbicides, which is great news for sensitive honeybees. The East Cape region’s warm climate, fertile soils, and coastal proximity further add to ideal conditions for native Manuka shrubs and the bees that source their flowers’ special nectar. This created the perfect setting for producing top-quality natural Manuka honey. We call it nature’s miracle.
As if it didn’t have enough magic about it, New Zealand’s East Cape is one of the first places on earth to greet the sun every morning. Check it out on Google Maps.
It’s no wonder East Cape honey is the preferred Manuka honey from New Zealand.
Why Manuka Honey From New Zealand's East Cape Tastes So Good.
Manuka honey has different taste profiles depending on where in New Zealand it is harvested. When Manuka honey is produced in bulk by blending honey from diverse areas, the result is an unbalanced honey that can be either overly sweet, too bitter, or extremely pungent. A good Manuka honey is slightly bitter, doesn’t have a grainy texture, and has a dark cream or light cream colour (depending on the region and time of year).
What is the secret of a perfectly delicious Manuka honey? Location and environmental factors play the biggest role in creating flavour. As WildCape Manuka Honey is a single source, pure New Zealand honey that’s produced in a carefully controlled environment, the flavour is always consistent.
While Manuka honey often has a strong medicinal taste, WildCape’s single source Manuka honey is quite mild in taste. It is well balanced in terms of flavour versus benefit and has been described as having a “delicate, bitter-sweet” taste.
Our product range offers varying strengths of Manuka honey. Each variant (UMF10+, 15+, 20+, etc.) is determined by the UMF rating, which also determines the taste. The higher the UMF rating, the more you will taste the medicinal compounds that give Manuka honey its bitter-sweet taste. It’s really a matter of preference since some prefer stronger-tasting honey while others prefer milder honey.
Sometimes you’ll see it written New Zealand Mānuka honey. This is the original way to spell the name given to the Manuka tree by the indigenous Māori people.