Top quality honey

Blue Hills Honey director Robbie Charles, pictured with Carolyn Keily from award sponsor Australian Border Force, Canberra, is presented with the Regional Exporter Award at the 2018 Tasmanian Export Awards. The ceremony was held at Government House, Hobart on October 26.

Prestige. Blue Hills Honey has brought back two accolades from the 2018 Tasmanian Export Awards.

Celebrating its 25th year, the awards recognise excellence in exporting by Tasmanian enterprises.

The Mawbanna business won Regional Exporter, for outstanding international success by a business whose head office is based in a non-metropolitan Tasmanian location.

And, the inaugural Tasmanian Women in International Business Award 2018, awarded to managing director Nicola Charles.

The honour recognises an outstanding Tasmanian woman working professionally to contribute to international business and export activities through any role including management, sales, marketing, research or development across any industry sector.

“Blue Hills Honey is both honoured and humbled by these awards,” says Mrs Charles, “because they reflect the hard work by the Charles family over three generations and across 60 years.

“Over these decades, Blue Hills Honey has strived to produce innovative, unique premium honeys for global markets. From our regional location in the north west, we are proud to export world-class Tasmanian honey to many countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, UK, Japan, Russia and Vietnam.”

Exports account for nearly 70 per cent of the business’ production.

Reflecting on the two awards, Mrs Charles said the marketability and acceptance of Blue Hills honeys across world markets “owes much to the cachet which Tasmania’s natural, clean and green image and reputation brings to our honeys: the success of our Tarkine forest-sourced honeys underlines this”.

And despite the bushfire that impacted the 2016 harvest, Australian Quality Honey, the business formed to market the local product, increased honey exports by 45 per cent on the previous year.

Sales to Japan rose by 700 per cent thanks to the development of innovative products including honey-flavoured mouth spray, pet care products and single-use sachets.

“While I am personally very thrilled to receive the inaugural Tasmanian Women in International Business Award, I also believe, more broadly, this award helps to draw long-overdue attention to the many women across Tasmanian businesses, including our own, who play vital professional roles in developing our state’s economy generally and its exports specifically.”

Mrs Charles added: “Success in not something you do on your own, it is a team and the dedication of the people who work at Blue Hills.”

The Mawbanna business is currently expanding its operation to include an interpretation centre with virtual reality and cafe, scheduled to open in the new year.

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