Gympie hosts macadamia chiefs

GYMPIE'S status as the third biggest macadamia growing region in the nation was endorsed today when the new Australian Macadamia Society board assembled here with key industry stakeholders and local growers.

The 2012 board spent the day in talks on key opportunities and challenges for the industry, the crop forecast for 2012, and its multi-million dollar research, development and marketing programs.

About 50 Gympie macadamia producers will attend a barbecue hosted by the board at the Mary Valley Motor Inn. Major Wolvi producer Troy Ziesemer said the event was a good opportunity for growers to network and discuss face-to-face with the nine board members the issues facing the industry and producers.

Macadamias are worth about $40 million a year to the Gympie economy, with 60 "enterprises" growing almost 500,000 of Australia's six million macadamia trees and producing tonnes of macadamias for export and the domestic market.

Gympie is also historically significant to the industry, with some of Australia's first macadamia farms established near here as early as the 1960s, though most were established in the 1980s.

The AMS is a body of about 700 Australian and 20 overseas members representing all facets of the macadamia industry in Australia. About 90% of Australian growers are members of the AMS, and they produce 96% of Australia's macadamias.

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