Despite difficult weather mid-harvest Australian macadamia growers have produced a crop of 46,000 tonnes in-shell at 10 per cent moisture for the 2017 season, according to the Australian Macadamia Society.
Rain and flooding from Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March and record rainfall in the Northern Rivers region in June significantly impacted the crop, which was approximately 10 per cent lower than the forecast issued post Cyclone Debbie. Kernel production is down marginally at 9000 tonnes.
Meanwhile, global demand for macadamias remains strong across all markets for both kernel and in-shell and the Australian macadamia industry continued to contribute with its global marketing effort which has just seen the launch of the first stage of its new three-year international marketing strategy.
The industry’s market development manager Lynne Ziehlke said the strategy was designed to further drive steady growth in global demand in anticipation of more robust supply becoming available in the coming years.
“In preparation for the expected increases in global production, we’ve ramped up our commitment to the kernel market with the launch of a new initiative designed to encourage greater use of kernel in food products,” said Ms Ziehlke.
The initiative includes an ‘innovation challenge’ to discover new product concepts and a series of consumer research aimed at uncovering new insights.
One of the new ways to sell macadamias involved the invitation of Chinese 'mummy blogger' Tang Ling, Shanghai, who was shown Lynwood macadamia grower Andrew Leslie’s orchard who explained his production ideology which in turn was broadcast to Tang Ling’s two million followers on Chinese parenting website BabyTree.
Meanwhile, Australian macadamia growers are investing significant time and resources into nurturing the 2018 crop, with preparations well underway for the next harvest which will begin in February.
The 2017 Australian macadamia crop figure is provided by the Australian Macadamia Society based on actual factory receipts of the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association plus data from other key industry sources which account for 99 per cent of Australia’s crop.