As third generation farmers, the five Dorey brothers, Ron, Ray, Colin, Spencer, Ken and Geoff, successfully grew tomatoes, soybeans and sugar cane in the alluvial flood plains of the New South Wales north coast. In fact, the Doreys were the largest producers of sugar cane in New South Wales for three decades.
With the decline of the sugar industry in 1998, the Doreys turned their attention to macadamias, initially planting two paddocks of macadamia trees as a trial. They did so well the brothers set about converting their entire farm from sugar cane to macadamia production.
The shift has been a positive one for the family. As Ken Dorey explains, sugar farming can be a little bit soul destroying “You grow the sugar cane, then you burn it and you have to start all over again. But with macadamia farming the orchard gets bigger and better, the birds and other wildlife move in, and it’s so much more rewarding,” he says.
Today their orchards are producing fantastic macadamia nuts and the Dorey family has taken out the Australian Macadamia Society’s Large Producer of the Year award an impressive five times!