Chocolate-coated, honey, lemon myrtle and roasted macadamia nuts will be destined for national and international markets when a Bundaberg macadamia producer moves to increase their value-added food processing capacity.
New nut processing line helps Bundaberg macadamia producer crack opportunities
Macadamias Australia will support up to 76 regional agricultural jobs when they invest in infrastructure to develop value-added capabilities and become a true paddock-to-plate operator.
Macadamias Australia was one of 15 businesses to receive a co-contribution grant of up to $250,0000 under Round Three of the Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant program administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).
The second-generation family business was established in 1958 and comprises 2000 acres with more than 200,000 macadamia trees.
The grant will help the business develop value-add capabilities, by procuring, installing and commissioning new machinery and equipment as part of its processing production line. This capability will be installed on-site at the company’s soon-to-be-completed, state-of-the-art nut cracking and processing facility.
Local macadamia producers in the Bundaberg area are expected to benefit from the project.
Managing director corporate services Janelle Gerry said Macadamias Australia would aim to meet unfilled national and international market demand for value-added products like roasted, salted, honey roasted, lemon myrtle and milk and dark chocolate product varieties to the snack, bakery, ingredient retail and confectionery industry sectors.
Australia supplies 70% of the world’s macadamias to more than 40 countries. Bundaberg is considered one of Australia’s premium food bowls and is the largest producer of macadamias in Australia.
“The project is born from the volatility of international markets, exchange rates and other factors that create unpredictable returns for the business, despite high demand for macadamia and associated products,” Ms Gerry said.
“By creating in-house capabilities, this will reduce its dependency on external contractors and reduce food miles. It will also allow Macadamias Australia control over supply, quality, stock levels and support the development of a more diverse product range.”
This new value-added food manufacturing project will help to support the local macadamia industry in the Bundaberg region which is expected to increase production by more than 10,000 tonnes over the next five years.
The project will need 11 people during construction and another 13 jobs will be created post construction as well as supporting 52 indirect jobs.
The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 15 businesses have received $3.14 million under the third round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall, these projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Across the three rounds of the RED Grant program, a total of 43 agricultural businesses have received funding toward economic development projects worth $40.8 million and estimated to create 1,897 new direct and indirect jobs over the lifetime of these projects.
QRIDA offers a range of assistance to primary producers, small business and non-profit organisations. To find out what’s available visit Programs and Services.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.