Thanks to everyone who has attended the recent events in both QLD and the Northern Rivers. We hosted the AGM and a General Update in late August, and a number of Grower Service updates since this date.
While the current El Nino weather pattern has meant significantly less rainfall than average across the growing region, the majority of orchards remain in good health with a reasonable flowering and nut set reported. Please check out our website for updated Grower Fact Sheets to help your on-farm decisions.
With harvest quickly coming to an end, it is expected that the volumes delivered to both factories will be close to 19,000t of NIS at 10% Moisture content, slightly lower than expected but in line with the overall drop in the Australian Crop. As demand for NIS and Kernel increases, it will become critical to maximise the volumes delivered and processed in the coming seasons.
The higher the volumes processed in our facilities, the more efficiently the products can be manufactured, which maximises margins and increases the profits we can return to our shareholders.
The operations and quality assurance teams at both facilities have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to sort, pack and ship a very large volume of NIS for export. New technology has certainly assisted the team with the recently installed automated roller colour sorters processing a large volume of material. As we reach the end of the NIS program, cracking for kernel production is now ramping up to meet demand.
Kernel demand has continued to build through the season, and we are now in a position where a large percentage of kernel expected to be produced, and our carry-in inventory, has been contracted. The combination of new season kernel and carry-in inventory has been utilised to ensure that our Market Share has been maintained and revenue maximised.
NIS payments have continued as planned, with the notional price remaining at $1.70/kg. We expect to be in a position to communicate the final payments early in the New Year.
Thank you to all of our suppliers this year for their support in what has been a very challenging season. All of our staff and our Board members are acutely aware of the difficult situation that the low farm gate price has on your business. The Marquis group is determined to maximise returns to our Grower Shareholders and is working diligently to improve prices across all products sold.
For those able to make the grower Christmas parties, I look forward to seeing you there.
Deliveries for 2023 have slowed to a trickle as growers turn their attention to the flowering and nut set of the 2024 crop. There are still a few consignments coming in to both plants, and we would encourage any growers who may have a final harvest round to complete to do so as soon as possible.
Every season is different, and this one has been more ‘different’ than most. The extremely challenging financial conditions for growers have, without doubt, contributed to the shrinking crop size, not only in Australia but around the globe.
This is the first season for Marquis where deliveries to our Bundaberg facility have exceeded that of Lismore, with the new plantings coming on line this is likely to be the norm into the future. We have shared NIS between the facilities for processing to optimise efficiency and sales.
Quality has also been pleasing for most growers, with factory average Reject levels down on the 2022 season in both regions. The dry harvest conditions have resulted in low levels of Internal discolouration in Bundaberg and a return to normal levels of Commercial grade in Lismore following the drenching that the Northern Rivers crop encountered in 2022. Insect damage has been the major disorder in both regions, and this presents quite a challenge for growers to manage economically.
Our processing operations have run slightly differently this season, with NIS exports being prioritised due to the early lack of market interest in contracting kernel. Both factories are now cracking at full capacity, with the finish line for processing almost in sight.
Factory Christmas Closure: We will be closing reception at both factories at 12 pm on the 22nd of December and re-opening on the 2nd of January. Please ensure that you have picked up your Christmas orders prior to the closure.
Navigating Turbulent Waters:
A Recap of 2023
The start of 2023 was undoubtedly challenging for us, as we all know. The macadamia prices were in a free fall, and tree nut prices, in general, had crashed all around us. On top of this, we were dealing with customers refusing to draw down, resulting in a high inventory of kernel in our warehouses. Buyers were hesitant to purchase, and a forecast large crop looming into the new season of 2023 only added to the uncertainty. The general sentiment in the trade was far from good.
I hope the worst is now behind us, and the tides have turned in our favour. Prices have now stabilised, sales have been robust, and repurchasing is occurring at a rapid rate. Activity in the industry has picked up, and confidence has returned to the market.
All nut-in-shell has been dispatched to China, and industry feedback indicates strong sales and potential re-orders. It is expected that a large quantity of kernels will be processed and dispatched within the coming months.
Notably, we have received and delivered orders in India for the first time. India promises to be an integral part of our marketing plans for the next decade and beyond, with early signs showing orders exceeding our forecasts.
The company’s success can be attributed to our strategic focus on three key areas:
- Existing Markets and Channels: We leveraged our existing relationships to increase sales.
- New Markets: We explored new markets, such as India, and found suitable partners to initiate new sales opportunities.
- Partnership with Distributors: We ensured that we have reliable and trustworthy distributors in place.
This strategy has paid off, with sales growing. Looking ahead, the future looks brighter. Marquis will commence season 2024 in an almost fully sold-out position. Pent-up demand is evident in all regions, which will likely lead to market shortages in the first two quarters of 2024.
In conclusion, 2023 began with its share of challenges, and our strategic focus and adaptability played a role in navigating these difficulties. We are cautiously positioned to capitalise on the growth and opportunities that lie ahead. As we reflect on the progress we’ve made and the favourable turn of events, we extend our gratitude to our shareholders for their support during these trying times. Your unwavering support and trust have been instrumental in our journey to overcome the obstacles we faced. Together, we have not only weathered the storm but emerged stronger than ever. We look forward to continuing to grow and thrive, and we are excited about the future that awaits us.
Harnessing Marketing Power
in Challenging Times
In the ever-evolving business world, adaptability and innovation are the keys to success. In this article, we are proud to share our recent developments and achievements, highlighting how Marketing Activities can make a difference even in the most demanding of environments.
We started the year by revamping our collateral material and adding the Kernel Style Guide, making it more effective for our sales and logistics teams. This not only streamlines information but also facilitates better customer and partner engagement.
Listening to our Lismore shareholder’s feedback, we installed an eye-catching new factory signage in Lismore. This simple change led to an increase in visitors to our Factory shop, showcasing the power of effective marketing.
We recently hosted a delegation from the Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI). This event provided an excellent opportunity to introduce our products to a global audience, and we are eager to establish fruitful partnerships in 2024.
Our participation in Anuga, recognised as the premier International Trade Fair for the food and beverage industry, is a testament to our commitment to expanding our reach in the global food and beverage industry. With Bosch Boden Spies, our trusted distributor in Germany, serving as our able representatives, we garnered more than 40 high-quality leads. This symbolises a pivotal step forward in our strategic expansion, and we look forward to leveraging these leads to strengthen our global presence further.
After five months “under construction,” our website went live in July. Its refreshed layout greatly enhances user-friendliness and includes numerous “Call to Actions” that guide visitors to our Online Shop and “Contact Us” page. We’ve also introduced new pages covering Sustainability, Health Benefits, Food Safety, Product Innovation, a Recipe Section, and downloadable documents. Make sure you spend some time navigating the new pages!
In line with our global expansion, we secured another Government Grant to support the launch of Marquis Macadamias in India, marking a significant step forward in bringing our products to a broader international audience.
Finally, we are diligently putting the finishing touches on the launch of our brand-new Marquis retail packaging. While our retail line is still very small, we are fully committed to delivering a product presentation that exemplifies our dedication to excellence. We can’t wait to start selling the new line on our website and factory shops. This is just the beginning of a long journey, and we look forward to growing our business in the “Direct to Consumer” arena.
Marquis Macadamias' Historic Entry into India Celebrated at Australian Macadamia Festival
In September, we achieved a historic milestone by making our first shipment of macadamias to India under the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA). This inaugural shipment arrived in India in time for the Australian Macadamia Festival, a two-week culinary celebration that took place in Mumbai from September 30 to October 14. Marquis Macadamias played a pivotal role as a key supplier to the festival.
We were delighted to be a supplier of the Australian Macadamia Festival, and we firmly believe this marks the beginning of an exciting journey in India.
The festival, organised by the Australian Macadamia Society, aimed to showcase the rich history, culture, and flavours of Australian macadamias to the Indian audience. It featured collaborations with skilled chefs from popular local restaurants, engaged Indian media, chefs, food bloggers, social media influencers, and trade partners. The immersive experience was designed to position Australian macadamias as a beloved and highly sought-after nut in the Indian market.
Funding for the festival was provided under the Queensland Government’s Food and Fibre to Market: Industry Partnerships program, highlighting the importance of government support in promoting international trade.
Our products have already hit the shelves of select Indian stores, and we are confident that our small, nutrient-packed nuts will soon find a permanent place in the hearts and pantries of Indian consumers.
This milestone event marks a significant step in the Australian macadamia industry’s expansion into the Indian market. With a robust Marketing Plan to be implemented in 2024, we look forward to building a solid presence and establishing ourselves as a leading supplier of premium Australian macadamias in India.