Bee-friendly Trees added to National Tree Count

The NZX-listed Mānuka honey exporter (NZX:CVT) currently occupies second place on the official Trees that Count Leaderboard having planted 6,400,000 Mānuka seedlings in regional parts of New Zealand since 2016.

As well as helping to ensure the longevity of the apiculture industry, the Comvita Mānuka Plantation Programme contributes to the biodiversity of the natural environment given Mānuka is a nursery plant, and the wellbeing of bee colonies. Jobs are also created in rural areas where Manuka planting takes place.

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Over the past year, Comvita planted more than 2,000 hectares of farmland in Mānuka across six regions. Once the plantations are established, Comvita will place their hives on the properties to collect a honey crop. Comvita’s accompanying Mānuka Breeding Programme has been successful in producing high-quality UMF™ Manuka cultivars to suit differing environments. These superior seedlings are used when developing plantations.

“It’s not just about Mānuka though,” says Comvita Plantations Manager Joshua Easton.

“We’re now undertaking companion planting, growing a range of other native plant species alongside Mānuka to further assist with beehive health and biodiversity. Healthy bees start with the land and its surroundings, so this September we believe it’s worth celebrating the positive impact of our Plantation Programme as part of Bee Aware Month. Every bit helps!”

In 2018, the New Zealand Government established the One Billion Trees Programme, charged with planting one billion trees by 2028 to create employment in regional areas, optimise land use, protect the environment and mitigate climate change while supporting New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy. So far 110 million trees have been planted.

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Trees that Count is a One Billion Trees Programme partner. With funding from the Tindall Foundation, the conservation charity is building a picture of New Zealand’s annual planting efforts by counting native trees planted by community groups, government agencies, schools and businesses alike. Trees that Count also monitors and measures the positive impact native plantings are having on the natural environment.

Comvita General Manager Safety and Sustainability Heather Johnston says planting native trees is a powerful action New Zealanders can take to counter climate change, and protect the country’s landscapes and waterways for future generations.

“We’re proud of our positive contribution to New Zealand’s future through our restorative plantings. Sustainability is at its best when doing good benefits the environment and the community, while also aligning with the commercial needs of a business. We believe our Mānuka Plantation Programme is an excellent example of that in action,” says Mrs Johnston.

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