The cracking of macadamia nuts can again be heard from the Macksville Industrial Estate after local company Nambucca Macnuts restarted its processing plant.

Federal NSW Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the company’s expansion into the niche organic macadamia nut market was good news for the Nambucca region.

“Nambucca Macnuts is an iconic co-operative well-known for its delicious flavoured macadamia nuts and other products like spreads and oils,” Mr Conaghan said.

“Now the company has expanded and has purchased new processing equipment costing around $200,000 and has put on five new workers to crack, sort and pack the nuts.

“I congratulate the board and management for Nambucca Macnuts for making this decision to value-add to their business to create benefits not only for the valley’s current seven organic macadamia nut producers, but for the broader local economy.”

Macnuts General Manager Vince Collins said the move back to the company’s roots, but with a niche organic product, was attracting the attention of other growers, processors and buyers.

“Our pack house is ACO (Australian Certified Organic) accredited and it doesn’t process any other nuts or other macadamia nuts, so we are the perfect place to process organic macadamias,” Mr Collins said.

“Since starting processing organic macadamias three weeks ago we have had approaches from Queensland and NSW organic macadamia growers also wishing to have product processed.

“Other processors, such as Stahmann Farms in Toowoomba, recently processed the organic product but have now stopped due to its small volume.

“We will continue doing what we are known for, delicious flavouring and value-adding to macadamias, but processing organic nuts gives us an additional string to our bow and gives an opportunity to local and other organic growers.”

The new processing equipment was installed at Nambucca Macnuts in late July and now the packhouse is processing five tonnes of organic nuts per week.

Despite Nambucca organic macadamias being a new product in the market, orders are already strong. The first production run is to be despatched to a single buyer. And almost all of the 2020 kernel output is now

under order across several approved buyers, reflecting the high reputation of macadamias from the Nambucca area.

To accommodate the new business, Nambucca Macnuts staff has doubled, going from five to 10, which will help to support the local economy.