Business

China set to go nuts for macadamias

Graeme Lawrence of Tweed Valley Macadamias. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Graeme Lawrence of Tweed Valley Macadamias. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

NORTH TUMBULGUM macadamia farmers Graeme and Laurelle Lawrence could be selling their produce close to double the price once a new trade deal with China is finalised.

Under the Free Trade Agreement the 25% export tariff on nuts will be phased out in the next five years, with the Australian Nut Industry Council projecting this will double the $35 million dollar trade to China.

The Lawrence family represent a small slice of the pie with their 1500-tree orchard, which produces 11 tonnes of macadamia annually to the domestic market through Agri-Mac and their boutique operation Tweed Valley Macadamia. 

But, they're looking to double their operations to fulfil a Macadamia Society directive, to source more land and plant more trees, to potentially feed the high volume demands of China, population: 1.35 billion.

"It's alright to say yes we can supply a particular product to China, but you've got to have the size of supply to be a genuine supplier and for that to be a sustainable thing," Mr Lawrence said.

Mr Lawrence is considering a run-down property close to his 80 acres as a "challenge" and to plant another 1000 trees.

He said now is good time for other Tweed farmers to consider macadamia as a viable option.

"This industry has been going for 40 years and we have certainly seen some tough times in the past but now is an exciting time for macadamia farming," Mr Lawrence said.

"It's a wonderful lifestyle - during the winter months from March to August to September, when its harvest, you're busy and during the summer and the spring it's a little more leisurely, with fertilising, pruning and spraying for winds."

It takes four to five years for a macadamia tree to bear and currently the nuts sell for $3.5 - $4.5 for first grade premium, at the farm gate, which Mr Lawrence says is a "healthy" price "to pay the bills".

With a lateral root system it cannot be grown on the flats in place of the sugar cane, which is struggling to stay profitable in an increasing competitive and monopolised international market.

All signs are pointing towards lifts in yields for Australia's macadamias.

The Department of Primary Industries has appointed a new researcher dedicated to finding new nut varieties with 30% more yield available by 2017.

Topics:  china farmers free trade agreement macadamia nuts produce



Where to find the best coffee

COFFEE snobbery is at an all-time high in Australia with the hipster movement carving a whole new breed of caffeine-loving consumers.

10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

Send yourself on a scavenger hunt around Brisbane to discover the incredible street art.

GET your phone and selfie-stick ready!

Where you need to be for the best live music

Don't miss these venues next time you're in Brisbane!

This city has a whole lot of places you need to check out.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

A new youth facility heading to Bogangar

Tweed Shire Council's artist impression of the Les Burger Field youth recreation space for the concept plans.

What do you think of the plans Les Burger Field?

Man to be charged with murder after extradition to Tweed

Tweed Byron LAC Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen.

POLICE extradite man to Tweed Heads to charge him with the murder.

Glorious scenic penthouse in Tweed

1143 ‘Tweed Ultima’, 18 Stuart Street, Tweed Heads

Have a look at the house of the week.

Local Partners

Where you need to be for the best live music

IF YOU’RE into music, this city has a whole lot of places you need to check out.

MKR recap: The secret ingredients to longevity and success

It’s chilli con carnage on MKR.

‘Turn up the heat’ means chillies. Lots of chillies.

MOVIE REVIEW: Logan doesn't pull any punches

THE WOLVERINE: Hugh Jackman in a scene from the movie Logan.

Gritty, real performances worth the gore in new X-Men movie.

Booval boy keeps winning over bride

BUILDING A BOND: Alene Khatcherian and Simon McQuillan are still going strong on Married At First Sight.

Alene Khatcherian and Simon McQuillan are still going strong

WATCH: I'm A Celebrity's 'most dangerous’ jungle test yet

Jonathon ‘J. Mo’ Moran testing the Riding High Tucker Trial on set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Lisa Curry will take on reality show's ‘most dangerous’ Tucker Trial

MOVIE REVIEW: Miss Sloane is entertaining and smart

Jessica Chastain in a scene from the movie Miss Sloane.

JESSICA Chastain is superb as formidable lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane.

Adele in Queensland: Where you can see her

Adele will be doing two major shows in Brisbane on the weekend.

15-time Grammy winner travelling with her four-year-old son Angelo

Glorious scenic penthouse in Tweed

1143 ‘Tweed Ultima’, 18 Stuart Street, Tweed Heads

Have a look at the house of the week.

Major Burrum Heads development to go to vote

Site development plans for the proposed lot conversion at Burrum Heads, near Beach Dr.

Councillors will vote on the lot conversions.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Providing service for Tweed landlords

QUALITY SERVICE: TCM Rentals Coastal property consultant Wendy Hotchkiss  wants to provide quality service to Tweed landlords.

A new property management style.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!