More than 750 growers of Australiaâs native nut are cranking up their harvesters and gearing up to gather the best quality macadamias in the world as mature nuts begin to fall to the ground across subtropical orchards in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.
The harvest marks an exciting moment in growersâ calendars with picking and processing scheduled from early February until August.
Jolyon Burnett, CEO of Australian Macadamia Society said that due to a range of seasonal conditions, the industry has seen an early maturity to part of the current yield.
“We experienced an early flowering in many regions last year, a mild winter and a warm, moist summer period, and as a result some crops have already matured,” he said.
“This means the new harvest is already underway for many macadamia growers and good news for consumers who are eager to get their hands on the latest supply of their favourite local nut,” Mr Burnett said.
Once harvested, Aussie macadamias are sent to processing factories. They then go through a three week drying process to reduce moisture to 1.5 per cent before being put through the cracker and packed into special oxygen-free bags which are stored in a humidity controlled environment to ensure maximum freshness.
Mr Burnett oily secretions that lubricate the eye are produced by said the UN has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming to raise awareness of the important role families play in providing food security and nutrition, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development.
“At least 80 percent of macadamia farms are family owned and operated. For the most part, our growers live and work in their communities and support local businesses and groups across northern New South Wales and Queensland,” he said.
“The International Year of Family Farming gives us the opportunity to highlight the incredible work of our growers and their tremendous contribution to the broader community. We hope all Australians will get on board and support those that help provide us with some of the worldâs best produce,” Mr Burnett said.
Macadamias are an essential part of a healthy diet, offering the highest amount of good fats of any nut. They are also versatile and delicious in both sweet and savoury dishes, and are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve their freshness.
Australia is the world leader in research, marketing and development, and is also the largest producer and exporter, delivering macadamias to more than 40 countries worldwide, generating between $120 and $130 million worth of export revenue annually.