Green Farms Nut Company (GFNC), based in South Africa, has long anticipated this exponential increase in macadamia supply and is geared to create new markets to ensure long-term price stability. South Africa’s macadamia industry has been on a decade-long golden wicket and appears to be following the typical pattern of a maturing industry. GFNC has deliberately planned for this opportunity to bring about stability for their growers, and the sector more broadly, where it calls upon competitor processors to work towards this common goal.
“Supply is beginning to match demand, and within this intersection market forces determine prices. The switch from being a purely seller’s market may bring about a short-term levelling in prices, which is meaningful in that it opens new markets that may have previously been closed to macadamias. We are focussed on beyond the here and now and are working closely with relevant partners to begin driving demand for macadamias up so that it remains in line with future growth volume,” comments Allen Duncan, GFNC CEO.
This commitment is underpinned by GFNC recently engaging with Craig McBain, an experienced thought-leader in the agricultural investment sector, and former CEO of integrated global fresh produce supplier Halls. McBain undertook intensive strategy development work with GFNC to ensure robust resilience for times to come. Further bolstering GFNC’s strategic positioning is McBain’s recent appointment as Chief Operating Officer to leading global macadamia marketer, Green & Gold Macadamias (G&G). In this role, McBain will also drive numerous strategic initiatives for the company. GFNC exclusively markets its products through G&G and is the group’s largest processor shareholder.
“McBain’s appointment is noteworthy in that he brings a wealth of experience and learnings from the avocado industry. He brings succession for G&G and by extension for GFNC, as well as stability and nous to charter and grow the macadamia market for the future. South Africa, and Africa more broadly, is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts. McBain being based in South Africa further underpins stakeholder confidence in his understanding and the knowledge he brings,” continues Duncan.
The formation of the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO) is heartening, as its remit is to drive further research into the benefits of macadamias, as well as collectively promote the product to boost awareness and consumption of macadamias, beyond snacks and into the milk, flour, butter, dicing as an ingredient in confectionery and other food goods space.
“As leading processors responsibility sits with us, together with bodies like SAMAC and WMO, to drive demand up and secure competitive prices for our farmers. It is core to our strategic intent to, together with our stakeholders, influence, cultivate, and imagine new products, uses, and ways of consuming macadamias that may not have been considered before. We have reached the ignition point for fundamental change, helped by plant-based eating, and widely accepted health benefits of macadamias make it an exciting time to be a part of the sector,” shares Duncan.
China remains a pervasive determinant and how these new sales channels shape. As the country continues to grapple with post-covid and other economic complexity, together with ongoing lockdowns and growing domestic volume, this once giant buyer of macadamia nuts is quiet and unpredictable. It is the very grades of this largely nut-in-shell market that will find a home in alternative to snack products and new market uses. GFNC has for 30 years been committed to spreading sales risk through several geographical regions and so stands to weather the China circumstance.
“Beyond market forces as price determinants, it goes without saying that on-farm yield and quality remain the core contributors to farmer profitability. Because of this, GFNC continues to build expertise and value add in its technical offering to farmers,” concludes Duncan.