2016 has been a successful year for the Australian macadamia industry on many fronts, culminating in a record crop announced last week.
Several of our industry’s achievements have attracted strong media coverage in recent months, with important marketing and trade developments receiving solid airtime, and a popular cooking program taking consumers on a fascinating journey from paddock to plate.
ABC Rural drops into bootcamp
The first ever Australian Macadamias social media bootcamp took place in Byron Bay in September, bringing together a group of international macadamia marketers from six countries. The aim of the bootcamp was to immerse the people who represent our brand globally in all aspects of the macadamia story, and ultimately improve the strength and consistency of macadamia messaging in Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China and Germany.
The bootcamp attracted the attention of the ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster, with rural reporter Kim Honan stopping by to talk with our guests as they enjoyed high tea in a macadamia orchard, and then take in the action at the grower speed dating. Kim’s report aired on ABC Rural News – see it here starting at 3 minutes 17 seconds.
Landline gets a taste for macadamia milk
ABC’s Landline investigated the rise of non-dairy alternative milks in October, with part of the story shot on the Jindilli macadamia orchard in the New South Wales Northern Rivers growing region. Grower Mason Roy explained the success his family’s business is experiencing in the US, where its Milkadamia macadamia milk is making its mark.
“Cows’ milk is on the way down in the US and soy is on the way down. We’ve seen almond milk grow a lot and we think nut milk there has got potential to just explode,” he said.
Milkadamia was launched last year, originally in a barista formulation. “That was formulated to work well with coffee to be able to get the creamy, full mouth feel that people want,” Roy explained. The company has since launched original and unsweetened variants, suitable for use as drinking milk or on cereal.
To see the full segment, head here. The Milkadamia story starts at 5 minutes 30 seconds.
Landline explores the power of cooperative farming
Macadamia Processing Company (MPC) featured in a Landline segment that explored innovative businesses built on one of the oldest known business models – cooperative farming.
As MPC’s Steven Lee explained, “MPC was started in 1983 by a small group of macadamia growers who got together to try and take control of their crop and their destiny. They wanted to be price makers as opposed to price takers.”
In the 33 years since, MPC has grown to become one of Australia’s largest processors and currently processes around one quarter of the Australian crop.
MPC is now owned by 180 of its grower suppliers, and returns have been consistently strong for many years. According to Lee, the cooperative model has been central to the company’s success.
Take a look at this fascinating segment here.
Queensland Country Hour heads to China
A special edition of ABC Rural’s Queensland Country Hour delved into the opportunities and challenges around doing business in China, and the appetite its consumers have developed for Aussie food and beverages.
With Shanghai alone boasting a population larger than that of Australia, it’s a lucrative market for many Australian producers, and China now buys more Australian agricultural produce than any other country.
With Chinese consumers becoming more affluent and health-conscious, they’re turning to nuts as a healthy snacking option. They’re also seeking a connection with the brands they are buying and display a strong interest in the story and origin behind the products they’re choosing.
Australian nut producer Stahmann Farms featured in the story, with Andrew Waddell sharing some insights as an exporter of nut in shell, including macadamias, to China. Also interviewed were Chinese macadamia processors, who said that Chinese consumers love Australian grown macadamias because of their “good quality and fantastic taste,” and this has earned them the nickname “the king of nuts.”
Listen to the full story here. Macadamias feature at the 16-minute mark.
Chef Peter Kuruvita explores a macadamia orchard
SBS cooking program Peter Kuruvita’s Coastal Kitchen produced a recent episode showcasing Aussie bush foods of the Sunshine Coast. A segment was dedicated to macadamias, and Peter visited an orchard in the Gympie region to learn more about the growing and harvesting process, before heading back to the kitchen to show viewers how to make a delicious macadamia and mandarin cake.
See the full episode here – the macadamia orchard visit begins at 16 minutes 42 seconds.