+ Did you have a particular health journey that led you to New Zealand and how did that journey shape your professional and personal life?
At the age of 21, the travel bug hit, and I was off to New Zealand with a guitar in one hand and a surfboard under the other. After getting married and living in NZ for 13 years we decided to visit California. Some beekeeping friends from NZ asked for help getting their products into the US. I had no idea that it would lead to 30 + years of importing exclusive New Zealand products to the US.
In 1989, PRI was the first to introduce Manuka honey to the US. Manuka Honey is now a billion-dollar industry worldwide for helping digestive issues and providing wound treatment. The health food industry has grown over the years, but PRI still works directly with NZ bee keeping families that take pride in producing high quality products. Pacific Sea Salt continues to be one of the only wind and solar dried sea salts with no additives and contains all the natural trace elements.
+ How well-informed are American consumers about New Zealand-derived products?
In the beginning, very few knew about New Zealand and often confused it with Australia. The Lord of the Rings movies brought New Zealand to the world’s stage and now there are few that do not know about NZ and the great products that it produces.
+ How do your products help others?
Manuka Honey is renowned for its healing properties for digestive conditions and wound treatment. All the Honey from NZ are 100% unprocessed and retain all the natural enzymes for good health. Our Pacific Sea Salt is one of the only sea salts in the world that is naturally dried to retain all the trace elements.
+ How do variations of Manuka Honey differ and how can consumers know when brands are making false claims about their honey’s origins, ingredients and potential benefits?
This is a tough one as there are a few that have their own labeling process that are not approved. Some companies bypass NZ laws by labeling their jars outside NZ. Published on every one of our jars is the bee keeper’s information where the honey was packed with their license and batch number. We offer a COA (Certificate of Analysis) to show test results for proof in labeling.
+ Most people assume all salt is in some way bad for them. Please discuss why New Zealand sea salt is superior and why American consumers should make it a part of their regular diet?
The short answer is that most sea salts are just sodium chloride extracted from the ocean with no trace elements. Sodium Chloride alone is dangerous for the body. Just check out the ingredient list on the so-called sea salts. The anti-caking and free flowing agents, yellow dye and dextrose compound the dangers. Our salt is not machine processed, it is solar and wind dried this method helps retain all the natural occurring trace elements your body needs daily.
+ What's the best decision you've made in the 30 past years
Wow, from a business perspective, to keep a family-oriented business. I have a saying that was handed down to me: “A family that can work together stays together.” Not always easy but it helps builds character.