The world's largest macadamia processor Marquis Macadamias is embarking on a $13.3 million upgrade to its Bundaberg operations in a move that will lift output capacity to 30,000 tonnes, a company representative confirmed with Business News Australia.
This compares to the facility's 15,000-tonne capacity when Marquis was formed early last year as a partnership between several Australian macadamia companies and South Africa-based Global Macadamias.
The Bundaberg factory is already one of just two globally that can deliver a Log5 pasteurised product, allowing for reduced quarantine time to create a significant market advantage.
"As part of the expansion, Marquis will build a new cold storage warehouse, specialised bulk drying and packing facilities, and a solar farm to generate power for their operations," says Queensland's Minister for Investment Cameron Dick, whose government is supporting Marquis with its Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
"Global appetite for our macadamias is huge, and Marquis' $13.3 million expansion will ensure local growers can take a bigger bite of export opportunities.
"This doesn't just help Marquis Macadamias either, it's of benefit to the hundreds of Aussie growers who Marquis work with to get supply."
Marquis Macadamias' Bundaberg facility is a vertically integrated growing, processing and wholesaling operation, with the company sourcing crop from 180 shareholding growers and 170 non-shareholder growers throughout Australia.
Marquis Macadamias CEO Larry McHugh says the company's expansion plans for its Bundaberg facility will boost employment in the Wide Bay and ensure future demand can be met.
"With our facility currently operating at close to maximum capacity, this project will mean we're ready to support future demands and grow and create long-term, stable jobs in Bundaberg," McHugh says.
Marquis Macadamias' facility in Bundaberg. Photo from QLD Treasury (via Facebook).
Macadamias are native to Australia, which has one of the world's largest industries for the nut with production stretching from as far north as Queensland's Atherton Tablelands down to isolated plantings near Gippsland in Victoria.
There are five macadamia processing facilities in Queensland, including Marquis' Bundaberg facility, that cumulatively process approximately 43 per cent of Australia's crop.
"Industries such as agriculture and food manufacturing proved to be our state's economic bedrock during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Minister Cameron Dick.
"This is a significant investment in regional manufacturing and innovation that will bring jobs and growth to the Bundaberg region," adds Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith.
"Doing this will drive local industry, help local workers, and benefit hundreds of local families here in Bundaberg."
Business News Australia
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