Marquis Macadamias and their growers have celebrated the macadamia industry on World Macadamia Nut Day, Sunday 4 September, by continuing to educate the next generation in Bundaberg and Lismore about this increasingly popular crop. In Lismore, Marquis Macadamias facilitated tree-planting at The Rivers Secondary College, where students received a donation of a wild macadamia tree and an MCT1 macadamia tree and were able to learn more about Australia’s native nut.
In Bundaberg, Ag Club students from St Luke’s Anglican School had the opportunity to visit Hinkler Park Plantations and the neighbouring Marquis Macadamias facility to learn about the sustainable cultivation process of macadamias first hand. In conjunction with donating native macadamia and MCT1 trees, Marquis Macadamias donated $10,000 to the Macadamia Conservation Trust. Since 2015, Marquis Macadamias has donated $70,000 in support of conserving Australian wild macadamia trees in their native habitat.
Marquis Macadamias’ Chief Executive Officer Larry McHugh said World Macadamia Nut Day was about celebrating Australia’s truly exceptional native nut that had become a worldwide favourite and continuing to build the sustainability of the industry through education.
“World Macadamia Nut Day is a way to recognise not only its versatility and health benefits, but to advocate for the continued sustainable production of macadamia nuts,” he said. “Showing children the history and significance of macadamias is another way we can support our hardworking local growers and help the industry continue to grow in the long-term.
“The trees donated in Lismore are rough-shelled Macadamia (Macadamia tetraphylla) trees, one of the native wild macadamia species that the Macadamia Conservation Trust is working to preserve. The other is an MCT1 tree, the variety which is owned by the Macadamia Conservation Trust is protected under Plant Breeders Rights and available to growers through payment of a royalty.
“Educating the next generation of Bundaberg and Lismore locals through these initiatives is paramount in ensuring Australia remains the hub of macadamia growing.”
Bundaberg and Lismore macadamia growers demonstrated extraordinary resilience in the face of widespread flooding and severe weather events earlier this year, which saw delays in harvesting and processing.
Despite the setbacks, Australia’s macadamia industry only experienced a minor reduction in the expected crop, with 53,0000 tonnes of crop to be harvested this year – only a four per cent reduction compared to the previous year.
“The Australian crop will continue to increase over the next 10 years, and we expect to see a lot more product development in the industry, especially in the ingredients space,” Mr McHugh said. “Australians should expect to see macadamias appearing in a variety of different foods such as ice creams, mueslis and biscuits. We are excited to see what the future has in store for macadamias. We hope Australians can join us in celebrating our truly special native nut."
To mark World Macadamia Nut Day in South Africa, Marquis Macadamias South Africa opened their doors to the growers, focusing on the orchard to plate process. Roelof van Rooyen, Director of Marquis Macadamias South Africa said this is the first open day the facility has seen and is testament to the important relationship Marquis Macadamias maintains with its growers.
“Seeing the process first hand brings home the dedication and commitment Marquis Macadamias South Africa has to maximise the return on investment for every grower,” he said. “Through our open-door policy, we walk the talk in terms of full transparency, building solid, lasting relationships with our growers.”
Speaking after the tour of the Marquis Macadamias Africa facility, grower Arnold Cilliers said farming macadamias starts in the factory. “If you want your product to find a market, then you need to understand the whole process that the nut goes through to ensure you can provide nuts that slot in easily to factory systems, and maximise the return on the farm,” he said.
“It’s about farming cultivars that perform well in a cracking facility and delivering nuts at optimum moisture. Seeing the processes in the factory is vital to ensure I fit into the bigger picture of macadamia nut supply.”