Manuka oil-based products prove a winner

30 Jun 2020

Television’s Country Calendar has featured them, and sales of their natural healing products are soaring both here and abroad.

It has been an exciting journey of discovery for Richard Macdonald (7858), starting with studying agriculture followed by 10 years of farming in South Canterbury, focused on pioneering commercial goat farming (mohair, cashmere, meat and milk). Forty years later that industry has a 2023 target of exports worth $400m, he says.

Diversifying into adding value to manuka, Richard meanwhile became a founding director of Manuka Bioscience Ltd, growing the plant on the East Cape and developing an online platform of oil-based skin care products.

He’s a staunch advocate with personal experience.

“I found manuka honey to be great at healing my eczema, but too ‘sticky’. But a manuka oil-based ointment proved a winner.”

The story of Manuka Bioscience Ltd’s manuka oil source featured on Country Calendar earlier this year, giving great exposure to the East Cape distilling operation. The oil is used in more than 24 manuka oil-based natural skin healing products that it produces.

“The oil is distilled in Te Araroa and our packaging is contracted in Auckland.”

There have been many challenges, not least the time consuming and expensive procedure of registering American patents.

He finds the most positive part of the business is that the manukarx sales platform is on line.

“It has been exciting to grow sales with advanced digital algorithms. The hundreds of emails we receive full of gratitude for healing a huge range of skin conditions, is another aspect which is very satisfying.

“Our Manukarx 3K concentrated healing ointment has been trialled by cosmetic surgeons in Sydney and Auckland. The results are amazing! Legacy products take about 10 days to heal post- surgery skin, while 3K produces the same result in four days. In March we launched both non-alcohol and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Sales of the non-alcohol option have been very robust, because many people have skin allergies to alcohol-based products, and often they do not want children exposed to alcohol.”