A new $2 million macadamia drying facility has opened in Bundaberg as the industry continues to strive to meet export demand for the native Queensland crop.
Pacific Gold Macadamias, the biggest macadamia processor in Queensland, has recently commissioned a state-of-the-art drying facility and created four new supervisory positions at their Bundaberg factory in the last 12 months.
Last year Bundaberg produced the largest share of the nation’s macadamia crop and is now known as the biggest macadamia growing region in the country.
Around 75% of the macadamias processed by Pacific Gold are exported to China, South East Asia, Japan, Europe and the United States and with the Free Trade Agreements in place, there is more demand than ever from these markets.
The latest statistics show Queensland exports hit a record $52.7 billion in 2016 which is approximately $1 billion a week in export earnings generated by companies like Pacific Gold and others operating in Queensland’s diverse economy.
This season is expected to bring record returns to the industry as Queensland’s production of macadamias is expected to be worth $140 million in 2016-17 which is 17% higher than the final estimate for 2015-16 and almost double the average for the past five years.
Pacific Gold Macadamias General Manager, Shane Johnson, said the industry was growing very quickly in the Bundaberg region.
“Global demand for macadamias is high and we don’t have enough product to meet that demand,” Mr Johnson said.
“China is by far our biggest market with around 50% of our nuts going to that market.
“Last year we processed in excess of 10,000 tonnes of macadamias, worth around $57 million at farm gate.
“We are planning on expanding our facility with additional nut-in-shell storage so things are looking exceptionally positive for macadamias going forward,” he said.