The head of Australia’s peak industry body for hazelnuts has encouraged the country’s growers to keep pace with a large-scale plantation being established by one of the worlds leading confectionary manufacturers.
Sallianne Faulkner, president of the Hazelnut Growers of Australia, said the Australian industry currently has around 200ha under production, including young orchards yet to reach full maturity, with this base producing around 150 tonnes in-shell each year. These figures are set to double by 2020, by when the Hazelnut Growers of Australia estimates around 500ha will be under production, with annual yields tipped to be around 300 tonnes in-shell.
This forecast excludes volumes from the Ferrero Group’s new orchard in New South Wales. The confectionary giant expects to harvest 2,000 tonnes of hazelnuts from the orchard each year, once its trees come into full production.
“The challenge is for local growers to match that volume in the medium term” Faulkner said. “The main objective of the association is the implementation of a plan that sees the (annual) domestic hazelnut production grow to at last 1,000 tonnes over the next decade. The growth of hazelnut industry is being investigated by a range of industry members and agencies in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.”
To aid the growth push, the association will hold a national conference from 23-25 October. Over 50 growers are expected to converge on Goulburn, New South Wales, for the event.