Newsletter Q2 2022
Every quarter we share a newsletter with everyone in the WelMac circle, to keep everyone up to date on the most recent developments within the company and the macadamia industry.
Dear members of the WelMac Circle,
As we are going into summer in the Netherlands, in South Africa everyone is getting ready for winter. The harvest is in and preparations for the new crop have begun. We can look back with mixed feelings of accomplishment and underperformance. On the one hand we have started on many projects to increase our sustainability and improve our balance with nature with some great early results and our nuts this year have been of exceptional high quality once again. On the other hand, the crop of this year has not been what we expected, as we see a specific cultivar struggling to reach its average, which unfortunately covers a large percentage of our producing trees. We will share the final details on our harvest in our next newsletter when we have received all the final results from our processor.
Looking to the next harvest now, we are making sure that we improve the soil and tree-health in this sector as much as we can, while making sure that we expand on the practises that got us great results in our ‘organic’ block.
In this news letter we love to share a video of our training program, where 115 women received their certificates for completing the course we offered.
Annual shareholders meeting
On the 22nd of June we have held our annual shareholders meeting, for the first time in person, since 2019. We were happy to receive everyone in person and have the opportunity to have some valuable discussions helping us going forward. We discussed last years results and our views on the years to come.
Having received unanimous approval on all the necessary subjects, the board of Welmac is confidently looking forward to another year of growth and improvement.
If you wish to receive further information on this meeting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community project - macadamia training
As most of you are aware of, WelMac and some other local parties like SAMAC and SAWIF (South African Woman In Farming), have set up a community project.
Through this project we train young African woman in the Limpopo province, in the principals of cultivating macadamias. For these young woman it is a great opportunity to learn about the macadamia industry and the job opportunities it offers. Some of them own small plots of land and have started actively cultivating macadamias for themselves. With Albasini Nursery, we will help them plant trees and guide them towards providing themselves with an alternative source of income.
So far about 115 participants have come from all through the province to our farm and training facility in Levubu, to learn more about the cultivation of macadamias and see the practises as we follow them on our farm. On the 7th of may we held a small ceremony to hand out certificates to the woman completing the course. We made a short video of the occasion with some interviews with participants and other parties involved.
Towards the end of October we will have another event where the rest of the participants will receive their certificates for completing the course. We will invite other parties like local government, micro-financiers and other relevant parties from the industry to experience the event and give them the chance to meet these woman personally and see where they can help them further along into the future of macadamia farming. We will of course keep you updated!
Everything you grow on a farm starts with soil, if you don't have good soil you can never be sustainable. At WelMac we are looking to improve our soil throughout the farm, wether it concerns producing hectares or hectares yet to be developed. To this end we have several projects that are in development at the moment on our farm, for example we have had good results from our cover crops last year and are currently planning the cover crops for next season. We have also started a large scale composting program, where all our organic matter from the orchards are composted to be used to improve soil and tree health. As we have just finished pruning our trees, we have a large amount of wood that is getting chipped to be mixed into the compost.
One of the most important inhabitants and contributors to good soil, are worms. These fantastic burrowing creatures are the living, breathing, engineers of the underworld, eating and recycling organic matter to keep our soil healthy. When they eat, worms break down and recycle organic matter within the soil which helps naturally fertilise the earth and ensure it’s packed with vital nutrients. Their casts can contain 5 times more nitrogen, 7 times more phosphorus, and 1000 times more beneficial bacteria than the original soil that helps plants thrive.
Another thing that earthworms do is loosen, mix and oxygenate the soil as they burrow channels through. They improve its structure, leaving space for water to be drained away from the surface and stored in the soil.
This, amongst many other reasons, is why we have started breeding worms on our farm as well, to be released into the orchards. They might not be the most attractive of species, but we are happy to see them wriggle everywhere we look!
Recept: yoghurt mango ice cream with macadamia bits
What can be more refreshing than a delicious ice cream in these hot summer days?!
What you need:
- Molds and sticks for the freezer
- One mango
- Rasped coconut
- Full organic yoghurt
- Unsalted macadamia nuts
How to make it:
- Mix the yoghurt, coconut and crushed macadamias
- Half-fill the molds with the mixture
- Cut the mango into bits and remove skin and seed, blend the mango and fill the rest of the mold with it
- Cover the mold, place the stick and put in the freezer.
- You can cover the yoghurt part of the ice cream with the left over macadamia bits!
Employee interview: Silvia Maloleka
Every newsletter we interview an employee to give you an idea of who the people are that are doing the work on our farm in South Africa.
Hi Silvia, tell us who you are…
My Name is Silvia Maloleka, I am 46 years old and not married. I have 3 amazing children, all of them are out of school but still stay with me. I live in Valdezia and I have been working at Welmac for 4 years now.
What is your job on the farm and what does a typical working day look like for you?
I work in the HR department. My job is to help our employees and to be the connection between them and management. I wake up at 5 AM, get myself ready and travel to work. Work starts at 6:45 a.m. My first job is to check that everyone has clocked in and is ready for work. I work mostly in the office, saving info to the computer and working with Liza, the office manager. I end at 5 and return home by 5:30 p.m.
You changed from working in the nursery to doing HR work. How was that change?
It was difficult at first but it is better now. I learnt a lot like how to work on computers. I now know how to use excel and word. I also learnt how to work with many people.
What do you particularly like and/or dislike about your job?
I like to work with people and I like to help the people working here. I don’t like it when people break the rules and I have to deal with them. It makes me angry.