Here we go gathering nuts in September and from all the reports I am receiving there’s a hang of a lot of them – in fact, the South African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) says it’s going to be the biggest crop in the industry’s 30-year history!

The impressive estimate is for more than 53 000mt dry nut-in-shell which should

Produce at least 16 200mt kernel for export if the entire crop is cracked.

And the predictions are apparently in line with growth forecasts set at about 60 000mt nut-in-shell by the end of next year’s season, putting South Africa at the top of the pile of exporters of the crop in the world followed by Australia and Kenya.

Seems like it’s good news all round with the global crop estimated at 240 000mt with 22 450mt coming out of China. At least 80% of the global nut-in-shell crop is exported to China and a 60% increase in tree nut consumption has been measured worldwide over the last five years.

Yet another positive is research which has shown that at least 10% of the population in the United States and Europe are vegan and that is reflected in the growing demand for tree nuts in these countries. 

Jill Whyte from the Green Farms Nut Company (GFNC), says South Africa now has the volumes to market directly to supermarkets in the United States and to retailers in Germany.

Whyte, who was addressing growers at a recent GFNC industry day on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, said while questions were being asked as to whether there could be a macadamia nut glut, she said just one supermarket in the US could take South Africa’s entire crop. Oversupply, she said, was “definitely not an issue”.

In this, the third edition of our magazine, we look at unlawful land clearing for the development of new orchards and a warning from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife about threats to biodiversity in the province stemming from the development of new macadamia orchards.

In another article, bat experts from the University of Venda say the creatures are of great assistance to farmers in the control of stink bug infestations but warn that the impact of increasing land development and pesticide use in orchards is putting the nocturnal mammals’ populations under pressure.

We also feature industry expert Dorran Bungay’s new book launched earlier this year which offers an extensive and in-depth guide to the intricacies of macadamia nut production and processing.

Enjoy the read.

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