Deal brings nut giant to Bundaberg

AUSTRALIA’S largest processor of macadamia nuts has joined forces with a Bundaberg based and owned company to become the largest processor in the world.

The Macadamia Processing Company has purchased a 50% share in Bundaberg’s Pacific Gold Macadamias for an undisclosed sum.

Pacific Gold Macadamias general manager Shane Johnson said the deal represented a significant investment in the local economy and was a vote of confidence for Bundaberg’s burgeoning macadamia industry.

“It’s a major step in the right direction for the region in terms of processing and in terms of the interests of growers,” he said.

“They are developing a presence up here because they can see the potential of Bundaberg as a major production region.”

The other half of Pacific Gold Macadamias continues to be owned by the Bundaberg-based family owned company Capital Commercial, which is owned by the largest growers of macadamia nuts in Australia.

The companies have set up a new marketing initiative Macadamia Marketing International to market the output from Macadamia Processing Company and Pacific Gold Macadamias processing plants.

About 1.4 million new macadamia trees are due to come into production in Bundaberg and add to an existing 700,000 planted in the early 1990s.

Bundaberg is expected to produce about 40% of the nation’s macadamia nuts by 2015.

Together, the regions of northern New South Wales and Bundaberg will account for about 80% of Australia’s macadamia nuts.

Macadamia Processing Company general manager Larry McHugh said the company aimed to foster the predicted growth in Bundaberg’s macadamia industry.

“We have always believed in the future of the region and believe there is immense scope for growth and expansion,” he said.

Construction is now under way on a new $13 million Pacific Gold Macadamias production plant which will rival the largest in Australia with a production capacity of 15,000 tonne of nut per year.

The factory is due to be completed later this year, with processing to begin in 2012. It is expected to process 5000 tonnes of macadamias in its first year of operation.

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