Indian consumers to get taste of Australian macadamias with historic shipment on its way
Indian consumers are about to get a taste of Australia’s native nut, with the first significant shipment of macadamias on its way.
- Marquis Macadamias has exported eight tonnes of macadamia kernels to India
- The Australian Macadamia Society says the shipment is a historic day for the industry
- Indian tariffs on Australian macadamias will be reduced from 21.4 per cent to zero by 2028
With India’s import tariffs on macadamia nuts reduced from 32 per cent to 21.4 per cent — and due to hit zero by 2028 — Australia’s largest processor, Marquis Macadamias, has exported eight tonnes of kernels.
Other processors are set to follow.
Marquis Marketing managing director Don Ross said the shipment would be a big boost to local growers.
“So we can get some product over there quickly, we’re sending part of it by air and the rest of it will go across by boat,” he said.
Access to the market of more than 1.4 billion people is the result of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, which entered into force in December last year.
The macadamia industry was quick to act, with the Queensland government funding an Australian Macadamia Festival in Mumbai this month.
Mr Ross said the festival would feature tastings and collaborations with Indian chefs.
“If that takes off then you could see a lot of product going to India pretty quickly,” he said.
“If India takes volume and really wants to grow the market, then in the future it’s going to be a great market for us.”
But will it be enough to help Australian growers who are facing record-low farmgate prices this season?
“Well you’ve got to remember that we take in some 20,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell if we’re talking about 8,000 kilograms of kernel, so it won’t be a significant improvement — but it’s a step in the right direction for the future,” Mr Ross said.
Cracking the culture
Australian Macadamia Society marketing manager Jacqui Price said the target consumers were India’s “high-net worth individuals” or “globalised” people.
“One of the beautiful things about India is that they love Australians and they love Australian produce and they really recognise the premium quality of the produce that we offer their country,” she said.
“They are well-travelled and … looking to improve their health, and they really appreciate the products that are high quality, good for them and have that link to Western flavours as well.
“But the benefit for us is that nuts are part of the culture, part of the DNA in India, so they love nuts. They’re used to consuming nuts.
“We now need to educate them about the health benefits of macadamias and the versatility and taste of our Australian-grown nut.”
Ms Price said it usually took about five years to build up to 1,000 tonnes in new export markets.
“Ultimately we’d hope that would, within five years, grow to be at least a 3,000-tonne market, but it’s still really early days.”