More calls for unity in macadamia sector

As a grower and chairperson of the Southern African Macadamia Growers Association (Samac), I share his frustrations at the apathy of some macadamia growers/handlers who continue to benefit from the important work done by Samac without contributing to its running.

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The macadamia industry now has an annual turnover in excess of R1,2 billion, and it would be irresponsible to continue running this industry on a fragmented, voluntary basis when there is so much at stake. South Africa will, in all likelihood, surpass Australia for the first time this year as the top macadamia-producing country and we need to take the lead in international awareness/research campaigns to enable us to sell all our production, which is expected to double in the next five years. We cannot do this without the necessary funding.

Samac members have given the board a clear mandate to investigate and implement a statutory levy system, should this be viable. The voluntary collection of levies is unsustainable, as was seen last year when some processors resigned from Samac, leaving a huge hole in the budget. During a recent roadshow, the benefits of a statutory levy were put to members in all five regions, and received overwhelming support. I urge all those currently outside Samac to put aside their petty differences and join an organisation that is delivering real value!