Australia’s best macadamia growers have been honoured in the industry’s Awards of Excellence, announced the peak industry body, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS).
Experienced macadamia growers Jason and Fiona Klotz from Red Rock Macadamias in Bundaberg have taken out the Grower of the Year (large farm) award, which recognises consistent high production over the past five years.
Their 80ha orchard achieved 1.69 tonne saleable kernel per hectare average over the past five seasons.
The couple have been in the macadamia industry since 2006 and have taken out this prestigious award an impressive three times in the past six seasons.
Mr Klotz is a fifth-generation farmer and the family have been farming on the home farm for 150 years.
Son Sam is now also part of the macadamia business.
Winner of the Grower of the Year (small farm) award are Gary and Julie Davis from the Glass House Mountains region, whose 13.8ha orchard Glendamia Park, achieved an average of 1.91 tonnes saleable kernel per hectare over five seasons.
Originally from broadacre cropping, the couple Julie established their orchard, located just 2.5km from the coastline, 25 years ago and their son Mitchell joined the operation in 2015.
The family also took out the Grower of the Year award in 2019.
AMS chief executive Clare Hamilton-Bate congratulated all Awards of Excellence recipients, whose attention to detail, on-farm innovation, collaboration and focus on long-term orchard health was nothing short of exceptional.
“We are an industry powered by the collaboration and innovative thinking of our people.
“Our award winners are a great example of this and understand what it takes to shine in the unpredictable and sometimes unrewarding world of farming,” she said.
Ms Hamilton-Bate says Australia is a recognised global market leader and enjoys an enviable reputation for its high-quality macadamia nuts and world’s best production practices.
“We have our growers to thank for this reputation.
“Our growers and our industry are committed to the pursuit of excellence, from practices adopted on farm, to post-harvest handling and the premium quality of the end product.”
Regional award winners
Farm and/or business names where applicable, are listed in brackets. Production figures are from 2022 season. SK = saleable kernel RKR = reject kernel recovery.
Large farms - Jason and Fiona Klotz (Red Rock Macadamias), 2.21 t/ha SK
Small farms - Alloway Macadamias (AM2), 2.65 t/ha SK
Large farms - Jason and Fiona Klotz (Red Rock Macadamias), 1% RKR
Small farms - Macadamia Farm Management (Quamby), 1.71% RKR
large farms - Garry and Andrea Sheppard, Ozmac. 1.68 t/ha SK
small farms - Daniel and Belinda Blanco, Home farm 2.04 t/ha SK
large farms - Lance Brady, Aleena Plantation. 1.94 per cent RKR
small farms - Mitchell, Gary and Julie Davis Kilfenora South. 0.89 per cent RKR
Glass House Mountains Queensland
large farms - Michael Cooper, Mr Macadamia. 2.30 t/ha SK
small farms - Gary and Julie Davis, Glendamia Park. 2.07 t/ha SK
large farms - Michael Cooper, Mr Macadamia. 1.43 per cent RKR
small farms - Barry and Pauline Morgan, BT and PA Morgan. 0.65 per cent RKR
Northern Rivers NSW
large farms - Ian Macleod, Waila Macadamias. 1.64 t/ha SK
small farms - Steve McLean, Macadamia Allsorts. 2.01 t/ha SK
large farms - Anthony Hotson, Thebian Farms. 1.82 per cent RKR
small farms - Miles Gillespie, Serendipity Farm Company. 1.23 per cent RKR
Mid North Coast NSW
large farms - Victoria Thynne, Elanora. 1.28 t/ha SK
small farms - Tim Zeck and Dru Marshall, Wirrimbi. 1.52 t/ha SK
large farms - Victoria Thynne, Elanora 1.13 per cent RKR
small farms - Grahame and Rebekah Elsley, Muddy Feet 1.55 per cent RKR
Australian macadamia industry fast facts
Macadamias originated in the rainforests of Australian over 60 million years ago.
• Australia is the only country in the world where wild macadamia trees still grow (mainly in southeast Queensland and northeast NSW).
• There are approximately 800 macadamia growers in Australia, producing around 50,000T of nut-in-shell per year.
• There are around 12.5 million commercially planted macadamia trees in Australia.
• 67 per cent of macadamias are grown in Queensland.
• 80 per cent of Australian macadamia production is exported to more than 40 countries.
• Macadamias are harvested after the nuts mature and fall to the ground.
• Macadamias are the hardest nut to crack – but it’s lots of fun (you can use a specialised cracker, hammer or mortar and pestle).
• Macadamias are great for your heart and brain as they have a higher level of good fats than any other nut.
• Research has confirmed eating macadamias doesn’t lead to weight gain, but they do satisfy both your hunger and taste buds.