Gympie macadamia processor opens doors to 70 growers
GYMPIE macadamia processor Suncoast Gold hosted an open day for shareholders and growers last Friday to celebrate the opening of the 2019 macadamia season.
The open day, attended by more than 70 people, allowed growers from as far afield as New South Wales and Bundaberg to come and see the facility where their crop is processed before the busy harvest season gets underway.
Staff, who had been working busily in the off season on significant upgrades to the nut in shell (NIS) receivals area and kernel testing laboratory were keen to meet with the growers in a relaxed setting over a barbeque and a cold drink to discuss the new upgrades and the season ahead. In his address to the meeting, Ben Adams, general manager of Suncoast Gold praised operations staff for completing the upgrade works in time for the season opening.
"The upgrade was really prompted by feedback from our growers, we listened and these works will also allow for more efficient processing of the crop, and provide a better, safer space for the staff to work in, it's positive all round” said Ben.
Suncoast Gold Macadamias was founded in 1985 by a committed group of macadamia growers from the Gympie region and even today is still 100 per cent owned by macadamia growers.
Suncoast Gold prides itself in these long term relationships with its growers and this strengthens the ability of SGM to produce a consistent volume of macadamia kernel to its domestic and export customers at consistently high quality.
Brian Loader, CEO of international macadamia marketing group Green and Gold Macadamias addressed the meeting of growers to give a timely update on the state of the world macadamia market.
According to Brian the ingredient market will become increasingly important moving forward for macadamias.
"Suncoast Gold is in the unique position to provide a consistent and high quality product to the ingredient market at the volumes required by large food manufacturers,” Brian said.
Suppliers to Suncoast Gold should be very proud of the fact that well known ice cream products such as the Mango Macadamia Weiss bar, new Magnum Macadamia Coconut, and the Peters Connoisseur ice creams are all made with high quality macadamias from Suncoast Gold. According to Brian, there will be a lesser focus on the Nut in Shell market to China in 2019 due to a number of factors including China/US relations and supply chain issues. However, demand for quality macadamia kernel is strong and although the harvest season has not yet started, the kernel market is showing very positive signs.
Growers were urged to make all the necessary preparations to ensure their harvest gets off to a smooth start and Suncoast Gold Technical Officer in Grower Services, Megan Boote reminded growers of their responsibilities to food safety and quality.
"We encourage growers to harvest regularly as this has been shown to give the best results in terms of preserving the quality, which in turn allows growers to be rewarded with a quality bonus of up to 30 cents per kilogram.”