Our macadamia growers are committed to clean, green production and the world’s best practice farming methods to help create a sustainable future not only for themselves but also for the communities in which they work in. We invest millions of dollars annually in ongoing scientific research towards continually improving all parts of the growing and production process.
We lead the way in biological control on-farm (using natural methods to manage pests and diseases) and actively encourage our growers to look to organic and alternative solutions in the management of their orchards, including the use of integrated pest management (IPM) to control pests and reduce the use of pesticides. Our record speaks for itself in this area – for the last 15 years we’ve received a 100% clean bill of health in the Federal Government’s National Residue Survey, which monitors residues of agricultural chemicals and environmental contaminants in Australian food commodities. This record is unmatched by any other Australian fresh product.
The Australian macadamia industry is intrinsically linked to the environments and the communities in which we operate. In everything we do, we are mindful of our responsibility to current and future generations.
Our macadamia growers are committed to clean, green production and the world’s best practice farming methods and we lead the way in biological control on-farm. Our growers actively embrace organic and alternative solutions to control pests and reduce the use of pesticides.
For the last 15 years we’ve received a 100% clean bill of health in the Federal Government’s National Residue Survey, which monitors residues of agricultural chemicals and environmental contaminants in Australian food commodities. This record is unmatched by any other Australian fresh product.
On-farm biological control uses natural methods to manage pests and diseases.
Our industry directly invests millions of dollars each year in ongoing improvements across all areas of the growing and production process. This is one of the reasons we lead the way in sustainable horticulture, especially in the use of integrated pest management and biological control.
• The Trichogramma wasp is now used by almost 70% of our farmers, helping to contain loss to nut borer and dramatically reducing the use of chemical sprays over the last decade
• Native bees are used as a natural pollinator, protecting honey bee populations, which are under threat globally, and in turn protecting the industry’s long term investment
• Native barn owls are used to fight off rodents that consume our valuable crops. Many farmers now install nesting boxes in their orchards to encourage the owls to prey on any unwanted pests.
• We’re leading a new initiative to develop an environmentally friendly program to control fruit spotting bug - the most damaging pest of sub-tropical horticulture crops. Causing millions of dollars damage each year, it affects a range of horticultural crops from macadamias to avocados and lychees.
Our macadamia growers are passionate about conserving the water, soil, air, native vegetation and wildlife.
• Regeneration of remnant rainforest on their farms protects the natural topography and waterways of the region, creating a haven for native animals and beneficial insects as well as improving overall soil health.
• Planting of Richmond Birdwing vines protects the endangered Birdwing Butterfly
- the butterfly lays its eggs on the vine and the caterpillars eat it.
• Development and use of Smothergrass, an innovative grass that covers the orchard floor and helps control soil erosion.
• Using 100% of the harvested nut. Nothing is wasted. The husk is used as fertiliser and new uses are constantly being researched, such as biochar for carbon capture and storage.
• The 6 million+ macadamia trees across Australia help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The macadamia industry is one of the major horticultural economic contributors to the many regions in which we operate, injecting millions of dollars into these economies every year. In some regions, the industry contributes to as many as 40% of local businesses. We’re also committed to giving back to our local communities, supporting local food festivals, speaking at local schools and working with community groups to protect endangered species like the koala.
The Macadamia Conservation Trust is a not for profit registered environmental organisation and the trustee is the Australian Macadamia Society Ltd which represents growers and the industry. The trust aims to conserve remaining wild macadamia trees in their native habitat for future generations.
The survival of one of Australia’s national treasures was given renewed hope recently with funding approved for a project designed to conserve and protect local wild macadamia species, all four of which are listed as under threat according to Australian State and Commonwealth legislation. The Wild About Macadamias project was five years in the making.
The aim of the project is to conserve the species in the wild. Funding comes from the Macadamia Conservation Trust and generous donations and fund-raising efforts by individual macadamia growers and macadamia businesses, non-government organisations and Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA). Additional funding and resources have also come from local councils including Gympie, Scenic Rim, Tweed and Logan.
Wild About Macadamias is funded entirely by growers and other industry members, making it the only non-government funded program of its kind in Australia.