AFTER almost two decades, Suncoast Gold Macadamia has entered a new era of leadership.
Former CEO Jim Twentyman has said goodbye to the company after nearly 19 years and more than 40 years experience in the industry.
Kevin Norman was the man chosen to fill Mr Twentyman's shoes and it was an opportunity Mr Norman said he could not turn down.
"To head up a company like Suncoast Gold was too good an opportunity to miss," Mr Norman said.
"It has a great reputation, it's known for quality and it trades on markets around the world so I jumped at the chance."
Mr Norman is no stranger to the horticulture industry.
He completed university in 1984 before taking up a position as an agronomist in the DPI, based in the Burdekin and Atherton Tableland until 1992.
After that time that he held several senior positions at the Peanut Company of Australia in Kingaroy including principal agronomist, technical manager and general manager.
He has taken on the role of general manager of operations at Stahmann Farms in Toowoomba.
He also managed 80,000 pecan trees at the Stahmann pecan orchard (Trawalla Farm) in Moree, New South Wales.
It is the largest pecan orchard in the southern hemisphere and it was there he achieved the highest yields for more than 10 years; success which Mr Norman attributes to a strong focus on pruning, better nutrition and water management.
It is safe to say he has been there, done that.
"I have worked in similar factories to this (Suncoast) beside farmers for more than 25 years and I've farmed myself," Mr Norman said.
"A lot of my past experiences and roles fit this job and I love working beside the farmers.
"We have shareholders from the Central Coast of New South Wales to the Atherton Tablelands, so our producers grow in far flung areas," he said.
"I haven't met all of them yet but I will, I'm having a blitz at the moment so it's been really busy; I haven't even had a chance to unpack my office."
He also added that the coming season was looking promising for production.
"Domestically and internationally the prices are good," he said.
"We have had higher prices than past years and the demand for our product is strong."
Suncoast Gold Macadamias was established in 1985 and it has become the leading flavoured macadamia nut supplier in Australia.
The company supplies raw, flavoured or chocolate-coated macadamia nuts, macadamia shortbread and also oil.
It is owned by 120 growers who are shareholders and the company is marketed in more than 20 countries.
As a result it has cemented a reputation for efficiency, quality and exceptional client service.
With Mr Norman at the head of operations, the company will continue to ensure continued growth locally, nationally and globally.
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