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Aussie champions protect macadamia industry future

MMI General Manager Larry McHugh, Macadamia Grower Bill Moorhouse and MPC General Manager Steven Lee are proud to support the macadamia conservation trust

The Macadamia Processing Company Ltd in Alphadale, in conjunction with its partner companies Pacific Gold Macadamias and Macadamia Marketing International is helping to protect the future viability of the Australian macadamia industry by making a significant donation to fund the conservation of macadamias in the wild.

The partnered companies are the first industry members in 2015 to support critical work undertaken by the Macadamia Conservation Trust to protect and restore wild macadamias in their natural environment.

Macadamias are the only native Australian crop considered an international commercial food product and as with many crop industries, the macadamia industry is based on a very small number of trees, selected for their favourable characteristics, such as bountiful crops and thin shells.

What makes them different and a little special, is that whilst most horticultural food products have undergone tens, if not hundreds of generations of breeding to produce the crops that we consume today, macadamias are still relatively new and little more than three generations separated from wild trees.

Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett thanked MPC/Pacific Gold/MMI for their generous support, which will help to support activities like conservation, rehabilitation and research all of which are vital for the ongoing successful future of the macadamia industry.

“Being the one country where macadamias are found naturally means we are better placed to tap into their genetic diversity, which gives our macadamia nuts the best chance of adapting to changes in weather patterns, emerging pests, possible diseases and other improvements.”

“When we look at crops such as apples, in the wild they produce around 2 Tonnes per hectare, but commercial varieties now produce up to 100 Tonnes per hectare,” said Mr. Burnett.

“This is the sort of improvement that wild macadamias and the conservation hold the key to.”

“Whilst over 80% of wild macadamia trees have been lost since European settlement, a lot is now being done to secure their future.

“Contributions such as these go a long way towards managing threats such as habitat loss, weeds and fire and further research. It allows us to continue our valuable work with government, industry and the community to identify, protect and expand remaining valuable macadamia populations.”

Macadamia Processing Company General Manager Steven Lee said that it is vital that the macadamia industry has future access to untapped genetic diversity by finding ways to conserve wild macadamias.

“The Macadamia Conservation Trust is undertaking important work for the benefit of the entire industry and we encourage others to support them,” Mr Lee said.

About the Macadamia Conservation Trust: The Macadamia Conservation Trust (the Trust) is the only organisation in the world dedicated to protecting the unique macadamia species, and the only not-for profit registered environmental organisation established by an industry body. The trustee is the Australian Macadamia Society Ltd. The Trust was created by an industry wanting to take its environmental responsibilities seriously and passionate about the protection and conservation of wild macadamias trees in their native habitat and ongoing research and education.