Marquis Macadamias directors Luke Dunstone and Roelof van Rooyen

(l-r) Marquis Macadamias directors Luke Dunstone and Roelof van Rooyen opened the Marquis Macadamias Pongola Depot

Marquis Macadamias has opened a new depot in Pongola, South Africa.

Serving the greater northern KwaZulu-Natal region, the depot will ensure macadamia growers can easily deliver their crop and access processing facilities.

“Pongola, including the larger KwaZulu-Natal, is one of the fastest growing regions for macadamia production in South Africa,” Marquis Macadamias said in a release. “Given the significant crop forecasts, it is therefore prudent for growers to have the necessary support, be it at an advisory or processing level, to assist with maximising grower profits and increasing sustainability.”

Nuts will be dehusked, dried, sorted and bulk packaged at the Pongola depot. They will then be sent to Marquis Macadamias’ facility in Alkmaar, Mpumalanga, for further processing and pasteurisation.

Marquis Macadamias director, Roelof van Rooyen, said the new facility will help deliver greater consistency in the offering, a requirement for developing new markets.

“Providing high quality, standardised macadamias in big volumes will give the market confidence to develop new products and make macadamias part of their staple line of products,” van Rooyen explained. “This will bring stability to prices as the world heads towards huge crop increases.”

Meeting production growth

The global macadamia crop is set to grow from 230,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes within the next five years, and then to 600,000 tonnes in the five years that follow.

Van Rooyen said his company is looking for new ways to market its crop to ensure demand stays ahead of supply.

“The number sounds daunting but it is exactly what the world needs to bring more certainty to the industry in the medium- to long-term,” he said. “Industries like citrus, avocados and apples have been through the same growing pains.

“Our industry will go from being niche, to a bigger, commercial and consolidated industry as the volumes grow. But the success of the industry lies in more strategic marketing.

“When your product is in high demand, marketing is easy and can be a function that is neglected in a company’s development strategy. But turn the situation around and the value of well-developed markets, strategic relationships and innovation becomes crucial to survival.”

Quality is key

The wider Marquis Group currently cracks around 48,000 tonnes of nuts per annum across its four factories, two in South Africa and two in Australia. The group also has five partner factories in Kenya.

It sells 11,000 tonnes of kernel per annum through its marketing arm, Marquis Marketing, representing roughly 25 per cent of the world’s macadamia crop.

Graeme Taylor, international operations manager of Marquis Marketing, said that quality, reliability and consistency of the company’s products are paramount to its success.

“It takes a high level of sophistication to get new products off the ground. Those sourcing ingredients want to know that nuts have been farmed and processed responsibly, ethically and safely.” Taylor explained. “This is why we have implemented a five-log pasteurisation system at all of our processing facilities, ensuring our customers have peace of mind regarding the safety of our products.

“Marquis is therefore able to supply a uniform product that meets stringent quality standards. Being able to provide high volumes of this product will create consistency and confidence in the market.”