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.

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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!