GROWING ON TREES: Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett with one of his nuttier friends.
GROWING ON TREES: Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett with one of his nuttier friends. Renee Albrecht

Worldwide interest in Aussie nuts

INDUSTRY delegates from Australia and around the world made the trip to Caloundra today for the 2016 Australian Macadamia Industry Conference.

According to the industry's peak body, the Australian Macadamia Societythis year has been particularly successful for growers.

"Macadamias are one of the hottest investments in Australian agriculture right now,” AMS CEO Jolyon Burnett said.

"[There are] strong prices, high yield and global demand outweighing supply.”

The conference, which will run until Thursday, has seen attendees from countries as far-reaching as China, Vietnam, Kenya and Mozambique head to Qld.

According to Mr Burnett, this growing national and international attention reflects unprecedented interest in the rapidly-growing macadamia industry.

"We've got new growing regions opening up, conversion from other crops, substantial new plantings and new nurseries establishing to meet demand,” he said.

"There are many opportunities for individuals and investors to move into the business.”

Now valued in the tens of millions of dollars, many Australian farmers have made the decision to diversify their crops to include macadamia trees.

Farmer Col Dorey said the decision to grow macadamias alongside sugar cane 26 years ago has done wonders for his family-run business.

"The long-term prospects are good and there's huge potential for future growth,” he said.

As it stands, macadamias only account for one percent of tree nut market sales.

It's a figure Mr Burnett hopes to improve through initiatives like the conference.

The event has taken delegates across some of the largest nut farms in the state.

"Macadamias are an important part of the Sunshine Coast's burgeoning agribusiness sector,” he said.

"Mt Bauple has been widely acknowledged as the ancestral home of the macadamia nut - it's only fitting we hold our conference in a relevant and inspiring destination.”

Gympie Times


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