Waikato artisan honey makers Sweetree – based in Horsham Downs – have received recognition at two national awards in one week.
At the Taste Farmers Market Awards Sweetree Honey received Highly Commended for their honey and bee pollen.
Artisan producers and growers from around the country entered the Awards held in Auckland, and for the second year running Sweetree’s honey was recognised as some of the best in the country. Last year their honey was named “one’s to watch”.
Earlier in the week Martin and Stephanie Lynch’s latest honey, Hakarimata, came second in the National Bee Keepers Association Beekeepers Special Reserve category.
“This is fantastic as we haven’t even released the Hakarimata honey yet,” says Stephanie. The NBA awards are a real feat for the young couple as the honeys are all tasted and judged side-by-side by experts, who test the honey blind. “So it really is about quality, taste and texture, not branding and marketing.”
Sweetree Honey is a true reflection of the regions flora and forna – much like a great wine reflects the terroir of where the grapes have grown. The different honey varieties reflect the area and season when the bees worked.
Although producing unique tasting varietals, Sweetree’s unblended honey’s based on a particular season and apiary site can cause some headaches. A particularly wet summer has meant very little of the popular Four Brothers Reserve was produced this year making marmite not the only favourite spread in short supply.
Stephanie says the awards were well timed as they are about to launch two new varieties; the now award winning Hakarimata Honey and Horsham Downs Country which will start appearing on shop shelves and at the market in the next month.
Stephanie and Martin are proud to have their honeys recognised by these two different national awards. “It has given us a lot of encouragement to keep doing what we do best,” Martin says.