Planning for the long game: macadamia trees

Macadamia nuts

South Africa’s industry could be underprepared for the future macadamia market because macadamia trees are a 20 year investment that requires planning for the long game.

  • Changing consumer demands for macadamia nut styles and grades. Growth in new markets like ingredients sector
  • Our export market may be exposed to China: 56% of South Africa’s crop exported to China, when Asia represents only 27% of global tree nut consumption.
  • What works here does not work there: different cultivars deliver varying outputs depending on region. 50% of trees planted in South Africa are Beaumont variety

September 2018: Farming and establishing macadamia orchards is a long term investment. Trees take approximately 4-7 years to reach optimal yields, which tend to grow as the tree matures over the years, depending on management and cultivar performance by region.
“It would be remiss of us as an industry to assume that what got us here today is going to get us to where we need to be in 10 or even 20 years. Market demand has fundamentally shifted and there are significant changes in what customers, from the US, Europe and China, want on the horizon,” reflects Alex Whyte, general manager, Green Farms Nut Company.

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