Wairarapa is said to have been named by the Māori explorer Haunui as he stood on a peak in the Rimutaka Range, looking down over the extensive valley. As he looked, the sun sparkled on the waters of the rivers and lakes, and he called the area Wairarapa - Glistening Waters.
This beautiful valley is home base for Watson & Son. All of our honey is processed and packed here in our state of the art factory, which is also the site of our head office. Adjacent to this is the beekeepers building which acts as a hub for equipment, vehicles and the beekeepers themselves!
In harvest season this building looks a little like a hive itself, with the constant movement of trucks working from dawn to dusk to bring the honey in. The extraction plant is located at the other end of the road. It works around the clock to keep up with the boxes coming in from the Mānuka sites.
Research is one of the cornerstones for Watson & Son. Our company invests heavily in projects around the world to investigate the qualities of Mānuka honey. In addition to these research projects and testing through independent laboratories, we have also built our own analytical testing laboratory opposite our extraction plant. Here we can monitor each batch of our honey for the levels of MGO (methylglyoxal), DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural).