Home NewsAustralia Macadamia processor suspends payments to growers already dealing with flooded crops

Macadamia processor suspends payments to growers already dealing with flooded crops

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The most important processor of macadamias in Australia has frozen funds to growers, at the same time as a few of its suppliers confront the huge process of recovering from floods.

Marquis Macadamias is the world’s largest macadamia firm and controls 43 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing and 16 per cent of the worldwide nut-in-shell.

It’s owned by growers from Australia, South Africa and Kenya, however it not too long ago minimize costs to growers right here to simply $2.50/kg (nut-in-shell), down from $6/kg two years in the past.

Now it has suggested growers that scheduled funds for the final crop due is not going to be paid.

Growers obtain an preliminary cost once they provide their crop, with extra scheduled all year long.

The quantity of scheduled funds can fluctuate relying on how the crop is promoting.

‘Catastrophe’ for growers

Rowan Liebmann, a NSW grower who provides Marquis, described the choice as a catastrophe.

“The money stream has evaporated, there are flow-on impacts for property values, holidays are off [and] discretionary spending is squeezed,” he mentioned.

Man standing in front of a macadamia tree
Mr Liebmann says the resolution to droop funds is disastrous. (Provided: Rowan Liebmann)

Mr Liebmann mentioned growers who have been hit by the floods have been struggling. 

“A few of them cannot harvest their crops and it will not simply be this 12 months. Subsequent 12 months shall be very lean as effectively,” he mentioned.

This 12 months has been a ‘shocker’

Marquis will not be responding to enquiries from the ABC concerning the suspension of funds, however in a latest interview chief govt Larry McHugh described this 12 months as a “shocker” for the trade.

“It began in COVID when demand fell a little bit bit, after which we began working into greater crops,” he mentioned.

An aerial of a flooded macadamia orchard.
Growers who’re recovering from the floods have misplaced crops and shall be laborious hit by the suspension of funds.(Provided: Lindols Macadamias)

Manufacturing globally has elevated from 250,000 tonnes final 12 months to 300,000 tonnes this 12 months and is anticipated to succeed in 600,000 tonnes in a decade, however Mr McHugh is hopeful issues might enhance for growers. 

“2006 and 2007 was the final time the trade had a very huge value decline and it was an identical state of affairs to this, a short oversupply, however we did climb out of that and we noticed good costs for 15 years and hopefully we will get ourselves into that place once more,” Mr McHugh mentioned.

A profile image of a man with short dark hair, wearing glasses, a suit jacket and tie.
Larry McHugh remains to be assured concerning the long-term future for growers.(Provided: Marquis Macadamias)

He mentioned the present low value was piquing the curiosity of some massive producers globally and he had not seen any influence of the low costs on funding within the sector.

Sungold providing the next value

In the meantime, one other processor is providing the next, mounted value for growers.

Grower co-operative Suncoast Gold has a processing plant in Gympie and basic supervisor Julian Lancaster-Smith mentioned the grower/shareholders would be paid $3.90/kg nut in shell.

Two men in a forest
Suncoast Gold basic supervisor Julian Lancaster-Smith (left) with founder Ian McConachie.(Provided: Suncoast Gold)

“We’ll honour our mounted value proper via this season so our growers shall be paid in full for the nut they’ve despatched to us this 12 months,” he mentioned.

In the meantime, shoppers are paying about $36/kg in main supermarkets and Mr Lancaster-Smith believes that won’t change till March.

Growers supplying Marquis will meet with the processor tonight.

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