Falling prices and over-supply has been topic of discussion, but it is not all doom and gloom, says Jillian Laing, CEO of, the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO).
Keep the faith farmers! We have a lot to learn from other industries and many new opportunities and markets to explore. It may seem easier said than done. Let’s be honest, macadamia farmers are facing more challenges than ever, but Jillian Laing shares some heartening information about the important work the WMO is doing to ensure macadamias not only remain on the map but that there is growth in how they are eaten. Across the globe farmers have spent billions of dollars on new orchard development and planting and only a fraction on market development, this is why what the WMO does is so important.
"Formed less than two years ago, to drive awareness and consumption of macadamias, it has made some interesting headway in understanding our current market context, what consumers around the world want, what manufacturers and businesses need from us, and what we can learn from the likes of the avocado industry for example. Because macadamia supply origins are fragmented over many producing countries across the globe (unlike almonds and walnuts for example), the WMO pools funding and efforts and is a necessary unifying body that helps market development collectively."
The industry is tracking to its forecasted doubling in supply from 2020 to 2025 and resulting price shifts have been long anticipated; this comes together with some other headwinds like recessionary times. Support from key industry players means the WMO has been able to commission research, garner invaluable insights and create strong demand generation campaigns that are winning consumer consumption, and increasing business buy-in.
"The almost decade long supply-constrained macadamia market conundrum is being resolved, and that is thanks to our farmers! This has brought some short-term instability but certainly changes the game for the long term. Look to our nearby friends (as Jillian is), the avocado industry, which was not in a dissimilar position too long ago to know that we are well poised to take up the new opportunities bigger volumes of macadamias present. One might see avocados as a parallel product in many ways: of the few that are unique, taste great and are also good for you."
But it is going to take some strategic forethought to steer and rebuild our reputation as a serious player that has supply volume to back the claim. Put simply, there are three ways to grow the consumption of macadamias:
• Getting people to eat more of them at a time.
• Getting more people to eat them.
• Getting people to eat them more often.
"Campaigning efforts are directed both to consumer and business audiences, with a focus on the US, China, and Indian markets. For consumers, WMO has launched localised versions of the “Love Macadamia” campaign that speaks to specific geographic audience insights for example in China where the focus is on “ritualising” consumption."
The organisation is working to drive awareness and making it easier for companies to do business with macadamias. For example, they have created the WMO Macadamia Product Standard which creates a standard across countries, including for sizing, which means that customers can interchange between different suppliers and deliver the same manufactured product.