Nut of note: macadamia relaunch

Thursday, 13 February, 2020

Nut of note: macadamia relaunch

A group of Australian macadamia processors and marketers has relaunched under a new brand, Marquis Macadamias. The new entity comprises Lismore’s Macadamia Processing Company (MPC); its subsidiary, Bundaberg’s Pacific Gold Macadamias (PGM); and their marketing company, Brisbane’s Macadamia Marketing International (MMI), which is jointly owned by South Africa’s Global Macadamias.

Marquis will grow, process and sell approximately 48% of Australia’s macadamia production and will be responsible for 22% of global kernel sales, while handling 16% of nut-in-shell (NIS) world production. The group aims to double turnover from $250 million in 2019 to $500 million by 2024.

“Bringing MPC, PGM and MMI under the one brand is about consolidating our current position as the world’s largest macadamia processor and marketer. The addition of South Africa’s Global Macadamias will initially add an additional 15,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell and 2500 tonnes of kernel to the group’s production. And this will grow rapidly. It not only ensures we have access to the largest growers worldwide, it adds regional diversity to our supply chain. Sourcing our macadamias from two continents reduces our exposure to drought and other seasonal variabilities that affect supply,” said Larry McHugh, CEO of Marquis Macadamias.

Rebranding to Marquis Macadamias will allow the group to pursue product development and product extension, and provide value-adding opportunities globally.

“Macadamias are renowned for their buttery flavour and soft crunch texture. One of the key opportunities for Marquis Macadamias will be to increase our value-adding products and launch a Marquis brand for retailers. There is no end to the opportunities for value-adding, from flavours such as wasabi to mixed nuts, and ingredients for cookies and ice cream,” said McHugh.

Larry McHugh, Bill Moorehouse and Steve Lee. Image credit: Marquis Macadamias.

Over the next five years, the company plans to strengthen its push into other products and product extensions beyond macadamias, while remaining grower owned and run, with all profits from the business going back to growers.

“Being grower owned is crucial to macadamias’ clean, green and premium status. It is important for us to control the process from the grower all the way to the customer to show the ‘farm to fork traceability’ of our nuts. Demonstrating sustainability in our processing is also very important. We use every part of the macadamia nut — from husks as organic matter back into the farms, shells as fuel and stock feed to macadamia oil for use in cosmetics and cooking oils,” said McHugh.

The company will continue to invest in technology to meet increased supply and demand, and increase its processing volumes.

“This year, we’ve already invested AU$2 million at our Lismore facility to upgrade the cracking room to double throughput, and AU$1.5 million at our Bundaberg plant into colour sorters and grading technology. Over the past five years we’ve also invested AU$4 million into Napasol pasteurisation technology at both Lismore and Bundaberg processing plants. Marquis is the only macadamia processor to use Napasol technology to ensure the safety and quality of our nut products and meet customer expectations particularly in the US and EU,” said McHugh.

The company plans to install a Napasol unit in its South African processing plant, which could enable it to process up to 30,000 tonnes a year. The company’s Lismore and Bundaberg facilities’ processing capacities will also be increased over time, to 20,000–25,000 tonnes each per year — up from the 15,000 tonnes produced currently.

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