That’s nuts: Co-op to process extra 450 tonnes of maccas

That’s nuts: Macadamia Processing Company to produce extra 450 tonnes with $5m co-op loan


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Macadamia Processing Company general manager Steven Lee shows Deputy Premier John Barilaro around the co-op's Alphadale plant this week. An extra 450 tonnes of nuts will now be produced each year thanks to a low-interest co-op loan. Photo supplied.

Macadamia Processing Company general manager Steven Lee shows Deputy Premier John Barilaro around the co-op's Alphadale plant this week. An extra 450 tonnes of nuts will now be produced each year thanks to a low-interest co-op loan. Photo supplied.

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$5m co-op loan unlocks Northern Rivers macadamia nut production

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Boiled down, this is a story about a new shed.

Albeit one that will see a Northern Rivers co-op process an extra 450 tonnes of macadamia nuts a year.

And state government is championing the $5 million low interest loan that made it happen.  

During his road trip to the North Coast this week, Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the Alphadale-based Macadamia Processing Company as the latest participant in government’s low interest loan scheme.

Mr Barilaro visited the company’s facilities near Lismore with Consuls General and trade representatives from 16 countries as part of a two-day trade mission showcasing the Northern Rivers as an investment location.

Macadamia Processing Company general manager Steven Lee. Photo by Shan Goodwin.

Macadamia Processing Company general manager Steven Lee. Photo by Shan Goodwin.

Mr Barilaro said the loan, provided through the NSW Government Cooperative Loan Scheme, would significantly assist the world-leading facility.

“We’ve got an incredibly successful, internationally renowned company looking to expand and I’m thrilled the NSW Government can help,” Mr Barilaro said.

The Macadamia Processing Company will use the loan to construct an additional building to contain up to 450 tonnes of nuts, in addition to purchasing necessary processing equipment.

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The company, wholly owned by over 200 Australian macadamia growers, processes up to 13,000 metric tonnes of nuts annually, approximately 20-30 per cent of the Australian crop.

It employs more than 30 permanent staff, and about 130 seasonal staff.

General manager Steven Lee said he was delighted to receive support from the NSW Government.

“This loan means we can purchase extra equipment, build another processing building to handle additional crop, and ultimately grow the business so that we can continue to provide strong returns to our growers,” Mr Lee said.

The scheme is open to cooperatives that have been in operation for at least three years and can prove they will be able to repay the loan.

The funds must be used to improve production facilities, expand a business, purchase assets such as equipment or modernise operations.

Other recent recipients include Almondco Australia Limited at Griffith, Appledale Processors Co-op Ltd at Orange, Independent Liquor Group in Western Sydney, and the Northern Co-operative Meat Company at Casino.

Chairman at Appledale Processors, Joe Caltabiano, said the purchase of an orchard in 2012 and trees in 2017 through loans totaling $2.6 million had assisted in growing sales and employee numbers.

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