Not many of the items you buy on supermarket shelves can be traced back to their source in the same way Australian macadamias can. The majority of macadamias sold in Australia are grown in the birthplace of the macadamia – northern NSW and south eastern Queensland. Most orchards in these parts are family-owned by growers who take pride in their commitment to their local communities.
Once harvested, the journey from farm to fork is a simple one. They are simply picked, cracked, packed and shipped.
Amy Thomas from Falkirk Farm near Gympie in Queensland explains the care that macadamia growers put into growing a premium product that can be traced all the way back to its source.
The journey from farm to fork
The delicious macadamias found in stores around Australia are grown on farms in South Eastern Queensland and Northern NSW, the same place the nuts originated over 60 million years ago. Evergreen macadamia trees burst into beautiful, draping pale pink or white flowers in spring. The nutlets mature throughout summer, developing their characteristic hard shell, as well as a green outer husk. Fully mature nuts fall to the ground when they are ready to harvest.
Watch how macadamias are harvested in the video below:
“We tell the trees every day that we love them,” says macadamia grower Aimee Thomas from Falkirk Farm near Gympie in Queensland. “In return they produce really good nuts for us. We harvest the nuts off the ground and take them back to the farm dehusking shed. From there we sort them.”
Macadamias are sorted with care by the grower to ensure that customers get only the very best nuts. Aimee Thomas explains how growers choose the best nuts to send to market. “They’ve got to have that nice, shiny, brown exterior shell and then you generally know there’s a good nut inside of that. When you crack the shell you want to hear a really crisp crack and then when you eat the nuts you want them to be really creamy in texture.”
Some nuts are roasted before they are packed and sent to stores and markets across the country, but others are packed raw. Growers like Amy take great satisfaction in every step of this process.
“We love all aspects of farming from growing the nut on the tree, to harvesting it, to delivering to the customer. Australian customers want to know where their food comes from.” And Australia’s macadamia growers are happy to share our unique story of true traceability.