Jeremy Friend started selling New Zealand honey five years ago when he found that the best stuff was being exported without reaching the local New Zealand population. His mission was to bring the best single-varietal honey to the people without blending it, heating it or heavily filtering it. What resulted was a brand that specialises in finding honeys that are produced with care for the bees and the land, and that come from a single nectar source and season reflecting the location of the hives in their unique flavour.
They’ve had such success with the New Zealand varieties that Friend is launching an Australian range of artisan honeys based on celebrating the unique flavours of different Australian regions – J. Friend & Co. Australian Artisan Honey.
“The honeys that come from Australia are so uniquely Australian that you just don’t get them anywhere else in the world,” says Friend. “We wanted to get it like the days when you could knock on a beekeeper’s door and you could buy their honey from that season. There’s yellow box that is quite different in flavour from beekeeper to beekeeper and season to season. We wanted to bring that story through.”
For the Australian Artisan Honey range – which includes macadamia honey from Queensland, yellow box from New South Wales and Tasmanian leatherwood – traceability is a key factor. QR codes on the 160-gram glass jars will let you scan each varietal with a smart phone to learn about the beekeepers who have provided that specific batch.
“The whole point is to be able to trace it back,” says Friend, who is in Australia for the launch of the range. “Honey is very easy to do too much to. We try to do as little as possible.”
J. Friend & Co. Australian Artisan Honey range is available now from Simon Johnson.