Macadamia South Africa Industry Day: Looking to the future

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The macadamia nut, the king of the tree nut world, is produced with great success in South Africa, which is the second largest exporter of macadamias after Australia. Pierrie Cronje, chairperson of Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC) said during the recent Macadamia Industry Day that 2020 was a watershed year for the industry. It will henceforth focus on methods of increasing yield and consumption of the tree nut, how to aid macadamia producers and increase investment in research.

Various technologies and research findings were shared during the industry day. Jillian Laing, CEO of the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO), gave a presentation on the organisation’s role in the industry and how to stimulate demand for macadamias.

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Laing said the WMO’s purpose is to champion the potential of macadamias as a mindful wholefood. The nut possesses the perfect ratio of Omega-3 and -6, as well as polysaturated and monounsaturated fats. The organisation’s priorities for the next 12 months are to continue with its focus on the Chinese and Indian markets, introduce mindful consumption and advertise macadamias as a valuable ingredient in cuisine. Mindful consumption refers to more efficient purchase and consumption patterns, rather than just encouraging consumers to eat more nuts, said Laing.

She stated that with the formulation of the organisation’s marketing strategy, they identified certain marketable personalities to target. By focussing on certain marketable personalities in each respective market, the WMO believes that it will reach a bigger market within the respective region. For example, with the personality type of Linda, a super mom figure in China, they will be able to encourage the mothers and housewives to purchase macadamias during a grocery run as a treat for the family, thus establishing the connection between macadamias and family, which is an emotional element.

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As the WMO’s role starts with the process and production of macadamias to the end user, Laing added that they will encourage a love of macadamias with their marketing strategy as a product with an emotional connection, creating more sales and encouraging more sustainable production practices.

South Africa and Australia are the world’s largest macadamia producers and these countries export a large part of their production to China. Laing highlighted the change in the Chinese macadamia market as it is now producing its own macadamias.

The lower-quality locally produced nuts are absorbed locally, with the imported nuts seen as a high-quality product in China, especially as macadamias are given as a gift during Chinese New Year celebrations. The growth potential for macadamias won’t be satisfied thanks to its various culinary uses, health benefits and status as a high-quality product. – Phillip Crafford, AgriOrbit