Company Background

Activist is a Mānuka honey company founded by husband and wife, Luke Harwood and Gabrielle Mirkin. Our shared passion for the earth and natural products can be traced to our childhoods in New Zealand.

Luke’s love for surfing and the native coastal land of New Zealand lead him to understand the important role bees play as environmental indicators and was the founding catalyst for Activist. Gabrielle’s time in New York City working as a senior Art Director at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar led to a slowdown, and the pursuit of new interests outside of the fast-paced world of fashion publications. Gabrielle’s love for radiant health, natural healing therapies and food from the earth was a central driver for the development of Activist.

Our shared passion for the earth and natural products can be traced to our childhoods in New Zealand.

Based between California and New Zealand, we’ve built a natural and transparent company as an extension of our lifestyle. Activist is a family owned and operated company. Our involvement is far-reaching: from establishing relationships with our bee-keepers (we even go surfing together) to product innovation, while building direct relationships with customers and global retailers. We believe it’s important that New Zealand and its resources are represented authentically on a global scale, rather than sold off to international companies to be rebranded and diluted. If that means building a slower growing, sustainable business, that’s cool with us.
– Gabrielle and Luke

Founders Luke Harwood and Gabrielle Mirkin with their son Francisco River.


A majority of New Zealand Mānuka honey is sold offshore to large international companies. These companies dilute and label the product outside of New Zealand regulations. They then on-sell it as premium Mānuka honey while falsely claiming its active benefits nor meeting New Zealand Mānuka honey certification standards. This leaves the customer little confidence and knowledge to know what they are buying and what the rating of the Mānuka product is measured against.

Our brand and business are built on the genuine fact that our products are 100% A-grade raw Mānuka honey from New Zealand.

Our goal is to build a sustainable business while nurturing and celebrating the craft of bee-keeping and the special resource of Mānuka Honey in native New Zealand; taking a truly authentic story and product to the world.

Give Freely

Activist is a tribute to the local hero, supporting and celebrating local and global individuals who have dedicated their lives standing for something they believe in.

Activist is a tribute to the local hero, supporting and celebrating local and global individuals who have dedicated their lives standing for something they believe in and forwarding their unique call for action. We encourage remarkable individuals and groups, and support cleaning up our ecosystem, improving human rights with compassion, inspiring sustainability and innovation for a new generation. Our goal is to form the Activist Charitable Trust with the objective to use this resource as a way to support individuals and unique causes that need some help standing up for what they believe in.

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