A media famil in the Northern Rivers macadamia growing region last week hosted journalists from a range of Australia’s most popular food, lifestyle and news titles.
A powerful PR tool
Media famils are a valuable marketing and PR tool that help garner positive media promotion by enabling journalists and influencers to experience a product and region first hand.
The two-day event was a huge success, with an action-packed itinerary that provided a taste of the many layers that make up the rich story of Australian grown macadamias. Guests were treated to on-farm experiences, a farmers’ market tour, cooking demonstration, macadamia fine-dining and beauty experiences and more, as they learned what makes the Australian industry tick, and the innovative ways in which our product is being used.
The attending journalists participated enthusiastically in all elements of the itinerary, and sought to understand the many facets of the industry at a deep level. It’s anticipated the experiences and knowledge gained will inform a range of media coverage in the months to come.
Here’s a taste of what our guests experienced.
Wet weather on day one forced the relocation of lunch among the macadamia trees in the Piccadilly Park macadamia orchard to the shelter of the farm’s sorting shed. The change of location did nothing to dampen the spirits of our guests, and the lavish feast of macadamia-inspired cuisine was an exceptional demonstration of how macadamias can take entrée, main or dessert to new heights, with the presence of heavy machinery adding a unique ambience!
The professionally styled buffet and dining table boosted the atmosphere further, with one journalist so impressed she delicately transported a decorative nut-laden macadamia branch back to Sydney for use in a photo shoot.
A break in the weather allowed for some time out in the orchard, with grower Rex treating the group to a brief but highly informative close-up inspection of the macadamia trees, explaining how he and his sons use biological controls on their farm to ward off pest and diseases, and smothergrass to protect the soil from erosion.
Of particular interest was the use of the Anastatus wasp – a natural enemy of harmful fruit spotting bugs, with Rex showing the group how the wasps’ eggs are sent via post on cards, ready for release into the orchard.
Meet the growers
A visit to another of the region’s orchards later in the day provided an opportunity for the journalists to meet with a host of macadamia growers and researchers. A ‘speed interviewing’ process was set up, allowing every journalist 10 minutes one-on-one with each of the growers and researchers, to learn more about the growing process, and gain insights into the innovative on-farm practices that are being researched and adopted by the industry.
This informal setting provided a relaxed environment for our growers to talk about their passion for the industry, and the journalists to get to know a little of the fabulous people who work so hard to produce the world’s best macadamias.
Macadamia fine dining
The entrée, main course and dessert all featured macadamias, along with a host of other native rainforest ingredients. The main course of braised lamb shoulder with native bush pepper, lemon myrtle, fennel and bush dukkah of roast macadamias, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and a secret spice blend was particularly popular.
Gavin was up early the next morning to provide our guests with a guided tour of the Byron Bay Farmers’ Markets, introducing them to local providores and demonstrating how macadamias are used in premium local products.
Macadamia cooking demonstration
Lunchtime on day two took the group to the hills of the Byron Bay hinterland to a private residence overlooking macadamia orchards. Here, chef and food stylist Suzie Smith led a demonstration of innovative macadamia recipes, showing once again how versatile macadamias are in the kitchen.
A series of macadamia recipes were demonstrated, including macadamia milk (later transformed into a macadamia mango lassi), macadamia cheese and even macadamia lip balm, with samples offered to guests, and the cheese balls forming part of the incredible macadamia-inspired buffet lunch that followed.
A visit to Macadamias Direct in Ballina saw our guests treated to some pampering with a luxurious macadamia hand treatment, using Jindilli skin care products. Jindilli skin care therapists used the range of macadamia scrubs, oils and moisturisers to demonstrate the smoothing and hydrating power of macadamia oil in beauty products.
A farewell Brookie’s gin and tonic
Brookfarm’s Martin and Pam Brook served our guests Brookie’s gin and tonics at the distillery’s charming custom-built bar, while explaining their unique gin distilling process, and the crucial role macadamias play in achieving the gin’s delicate and distinctive flavour.
Martin then led the group on a tour of the rainforest he and his family have planted over the past couple of decades, pointing out many of the rainforest botanicals that are foraged from the property to make Brookie’s gin.
The perfect finish to a fabulous famil!