Macadamia nut farmer Greg Smith inspects the crop on his farm at Brooklet. Despite volatility in the industry he expects its value will double over the next four years, making it worth $70 million by 2012.
Macadamia nut farmer Greg Smith inspects the crop on his farm at Brooklet. Despite volatility in the industry he expects its value will double over the next four years, making it worth $70 million by 2012. Jerad Williams

Macadamia industry growth surge

GREG SMITH is one North Coast macadamia nut farmer riding the industry’s current wave of success.

Mr Smith and his partner Jeff Rigby moved to Brooklet 10 years ago and purchased a 48.5-hectare (120-acre) macadamia farm.

Despite downsizing to 4.85ha four years ago, the couple have witnessed immense growth within the nut industry.

“There has been huge growth and shifts,” Mr Smith said.

“The management (of the industry) 10 years ago was very much government-guided.

“There was no marketing or research, no industry body as such, no vision, and it felt like there was no passion.

“We have an area of expanding plantations and tree crops, and that is a very good sign.

“I think the industry will grow ahead of CPI.

“We would need to grow in line with the expected expectations it places on itself and focus on international markets.”

Mr Smith’s story follows a prediction by the Australian Nut Industry Council (ANIC) that the nut industry will be worth $70 million by 2012 – a growth of 200 per cent over four years.

Nuts are one of Australia’s largest horticulture exporters, and the ANIC predicts it will take the top spot in a few years.

Mr Smith, a Sydney businessman turned life- style farmer, believes macadamias are the “Mercedes Benz in the car yard”.

“It is a very exciting and dynamic industry,” he said.

But the industry’s volatility can make it frustrating, he said.

Supply cannot always be controlled, as bad weather or pests have a widespread and instant effect on crops, he said.

Mr Smith predicted his crops would be “slightly” less this season, while some farmers predicted a “40 per cent” decrease.


Luxury resort offering discounts for local staycations

Premium Content Luxury resort offering discounts for local staycations

Residents are able to enjoy 15 per cent off at this popular spot.

Behrouz has never entered Australia but left a profound mark

Premium Content Behrouz has never entered Australia but left a profound mark

A Lennox Head artist’s striking work depicting refugee and writer Behrouz Boochani...

Letter to the editor: Is PPE the new plastic bottle?

Letter to the editor: Is PPE the new plastic bottle?

“I was disappointed to find a screwed up face mask lying on the ground (...) I came...