YEAR OF UNPRECEDENTED ADVERSITY REVEALS INDUSTRY’S DEEP RESILIENCE
To achieve success in any agricultural endeavour requires a certain kind of strength, and 2022 has served as a reminder of the grit and determination that lies at the heart of Australia’s macadamia industry.
Even the most seasoned industry members are struggling to recall a year so beset by challenges, from the ongoing disruption of the pandemic to supply changes, pricing pressures, rising costs and devastating weather events.
At times, the challenges have felt relentless. However the incredible resilience shown by the industry’s people, in particular those growers impacted by the unprecedented floods on the NSW North Coast and South East Queensland, has been inspiring. The speed with which they returned to their orchards to continue with harvest was phenomenal, especially given that many were dealing with substantial losses and damage to homes, equipment, trees and infrastructure.
Thanks to their incredible efforts, the industry is back on track and set to deliver a crop only 10% short of pre-flood estimates. This is an impressive result given the extent of the devastation caused.
While it has been a testing year, there have been exciting highlights too. Fortunately the largest macadamia producing region of Bundaberg, which accounts for around 46% of Australia’s crop, was not impacted by the severe weather. It has enjoyed a very strong season and generally crop yields across Queensland have increased.
2022 also saw the launch of the inaugural Women in Macadamias events in all major growing regions. It was the first time women in the Australian macadamia industry had come together in such a forum and it shone a light on several issues that women face, including a reluctance to ask questions, loneliness on farm, and a lack of confidence when it comes to safely operating and maintaining larger pieces of machinery. The initiative is part of a commitment to creating an environment that encourages women’s participation in industry and decision making at all levels.
The industry’s international marketing program has continued at full pace throughout 2022, with consumer and trade campaigns active in Australia, China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Audiences have grown across key marketing channels enabling more consumers to discover the multi-layered macadamia story and helping the manufacturing sector to understand the health halo, taste, texture and indulgence cues that macadamias can bring to food and beverage products.
The biggest opportunities for the Australian industry continue to lie in the growth of the industry at a global level. Australia is perfectly positioned to play a leading role in this expansion and is proud to be collaborating with other origins via the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO) to drive international demand.
Australia’s marketing program has historically done much of the ‘heavy lifting’ of promoting the many benefits that macadamias can offer both consumers and manufacturers. With the WMO now executing origin-neutral consumer campaigns in key markets, this frees our industry to tell the story of why Australian grown macadamias are among the world’s best.
This website has been partly funded by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.