From the soil and water that feeds the growth of majestic macadamia trees, to the discarded shells used to dry their world-famous nuts, Macadamias Australia made a promise long ago to look after the land they farm.
More than 60 years since founders Ron and Marion Steinhardt started growing produce on their Alloway farm, their children – Trevor, Kevin and Janelle – are leading the way with sustainable farming.
Macadamias Australia Director Janelle Gerry said the legacy their parents handed down was, in essence, a responsibility to be true custodians.
“We are committed to a clean, green future, caring for the environment, each other and every life we touch,” Janelle said.
Every detail of the farming process is continuously improved to ensure the impact on the environment is minimal. This means recycling all organic matter, including the macadamia husks, from the orchard back to the earth to increase soil nutrition, store carbon and reduce soil erosion. Water conservation is critical and managed via remote solar powered controllers. The introduction of beneficial insects, like wasps, reduces the need for pesticide chemicals. Hectares of native bushland surrounding the orchards is cared for to provide a home for important wildlife.
The newly-established cracking plant repurposes macadamia shell to produce heat for the drying process. This renewable source burns clean and produces multiple energy sources that are utilised in other stages of production. A by-product, bio-char, is returned to the orchard as a form of carbon.
“It is a complete circular economy,” Janelle said. “Across all areas of our business our mission is to continually innovate our farming and processing practices, improve our energy efficiency, whilst minimising our impact on the environment.”
The family is showcasing their commitment to sustainability at their new Visitor Experience at the farm on Goodwood Road.