A multi-million dollar expansion at Macadamias Australia has cracked open more opportunities to export the popular nut, drive tourism and boost employment.
The new $25 million building was officially opened on Friday 29 August with features including specialised macadamia processing machinery and a tourism facility showcased to the community.
A total of 29 jobs were created during the construction of the 8600 square metre facility and an additional 93 jobs have been made going forward.
Macadamias Australia Director Janelle Gerry said the facility would not only secure the future of the region's cracking facilities but also the many local growers.
“Our family are looking forward to partnering with like-minded growers to create single origin quality macadamia products for the world,” she said.
Janelle said the family business was established more than 60 years ago, growing peanuts, corn tobacco, sugar cane and a variety of vegetables.
In 1980, they moved into large scale production of tomatoes and zucchinis and in 2004 they planted 220,000 trees, harvesting around 3,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell each year.
The business has established long term export markets in over 15 countries for bulk kernel and retail products including Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Middle East, Vietnam and Korea.
A focus on research and development will see the business develop new and innovative value-added products in the coming years.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt assisted with today's official opening and congratulated the family on the expansion.
“Bundaberg is the largest macadamia growing region in Australia producing over 20,000 tonnes annually with local production set to increase to 35,000 tonne in the next 10 years based on today's plantings,” he said.
“This project will provide an outlet for over 9,000 tonne of nut annually for cracking and value adding and will enable Macadamia's Australia to create a range of innovate products for both its domestic and overseas markets.”
The Australian Government provided $4.68 million towards the $25 million project from the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Jobs and Investment Package.