Macadamia Processing Company General Manager Larry McHugh believes that the industry will be stronger after the amalgamation with Consolidated Nuts.
Macadamia Processing Company General Manager Larry McHugh believes that the industry will be stronger after the amalgamation with Consolidated Nuts. CATHY ADAMS

Going nuts over new macca deal

ALPHADALE-based Macadamia Processing Company yesterday announced a multi-million dollar move into Bundaberg, Southern Queensland which its general manager Larry McHugh described as an “an industry-changing deal”.

MPC, the country’s largest processor of macadamias, has acquired 50% of Queensland-based Consolidated Nuts and will set up a new joint venture marketing company with CNA. It will also co-invest with CNA in a new $13 million processing plant at Bundaberg, with production set to double to 20,000 tonnes within the next five years.

“It’s an industry changing deal when it comes down to it,” Mr McHugh said. “The industry has been made up with a lot of small players over time and we are trying to get together a bigger entity that can help to guide the industry into the future.”

“The deal acts of two levels. We have two big processors, but we also have a single marketing company selling the kernel. We believe that marketing company will be the thing that makes the difference to the industry over time.”

Together, the two regions of northern NSW and Bundaberg are expected to account for about 80pc of the nation’s macas within five years.

Mr McHugh said the marketing company to be known as Macadamia Marketing International (MMI) and based at Alphadale, will market the two companies’ nuts, as well as other sources domestically and internationally.

Currently all 13 processors around the country markets and sells their nuts individually.

Mr McHugh said one of the aims of the MMI was to reduce the recent wide price volatility that has affected the ability of farmers to plan ahead.

“It’s going to have a big effect on the whole industry. The marketing company is designed to make changes to the way the industry sells kernel,” he said, adding that rather than only selling to traders the new company would sell directly to customers and retailers to lock in long-term deals.

“Australia will soon be a smaller player in the industry than South Africa so we believe we need to be doing things to ensure the industry goes the way we want it to.”

The new multi-million processing factory, which is currently under construction, will replace the existing CNA factory at Winfield and is expected to be operating at full capacity later this season.

Mr McHugh said it would provide an expanded processing service for Bundaberg growers and greater laboratory support.

It will also use the latest technology and equipment to lower costs as well as enhance quality and value of the product.



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