Huge expansion meets ‘nuts’ demand

The $13.3 million expansion of the Marquis Macadamias facility will meet the growing demand across the industry. Picture: AARON GOODWIN

By Aaron Goodwin

A $13.3 million expansion at the Marquis Macadamias Bundaberg facility is set bring much needed jobs to the region and meet the growing demands of the rapidly expanding macadamia industry.

The world’s largest macadamia processor will expand its Bundaberg facility and create 40 new jobs with 30 jobs generated in the construction phase.

Marquis Macadamias CEO Larry McHugh was joined by the State’s Treasurer Cameron Dick and Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith to make the announcement on site on 13 April.

Mr McHugh said the company’s expansion plans for its Bundaberg facility will boost employment in the Wide Bay and ensure future product demands 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,” Mr McHugh said.

”We will be building this plant to a 30,000 tonne capacity over the next few years.

”This factory was built in 2011 and at the time it processed 4,000 tonnes, this year it will process 11,000 tonnes.

”The industry is growing so rapidly that we need to expand and make this a bigger facility.”

Mr Dick said support through the government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will help Marquis Macadamias increase their processing capacity by 25 per cent.

“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,” Mr Dick said.

“This project will take Marquis’ annual processing capacity from 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes, allowing them to get more Queensland macadamias onto shelves and into households across the world.

“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.

“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.

It is also one of only two processors globally able to deliver a certified Log5 pasteurised product, allowing for reduced quarantine time to create a significant market advantage.

“Industries such as agriculture and food manufacturing proved to be our state’s economic bedrock during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Dick said.

“Investments like this will ensure our economy’s recovery continues on its strong upward trajectory.”

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the expansion will further solidify Bundaberg as Australia’s largest macadamia producing region.

“This is a significant investment in regional manufacturing and innovation that will bring jobs and growth to the Bundaberg region,” Mr Smith said.”

“Doing this will drive local industry, help local workers, and benefit hundreds of local families here in Bundaberg.”

Australia has one of the largest macadamia industries in the world, and Queensland is the biggest contributor to that with orchards stretching from the Glasshouse Mountains in our south to Mackay and Emerald in the north.

There are five macadamia processing facilities in Queensland, including Marquis’ Bundaberg facility, that cumulatively process approximately 43 per cent of Australia’s crop.