Newsletter Q4 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,
At the start of a new year there is always a sense of excitement, the harvest is hanging in the trees almost ready to drop. So far it’s looking very positive but as we have experienced in the past it is always very difficult to give an accurate estimation of the next harvest. We are hoping and expecting for our older trees to recover to the yield levels of 2019 and the new trees to increase their yield significantly compared to last year.
We have been making very exciting improvements in terms of sustainability, which we are pursuing actively and trying to improve both the quality of our nuts, the volume of production but also the impact on the soil and the environment. Our social involvement is also growing as we have finalized a project with local female farmers, on which we will elaborate more in this newsletter.
We will also take some time to look at some global factors that are influencing the macadamia industry.
From the whole team at WelMac we wish you all the best for the coming year and we hope to sharing more positive news in the near future, both on our crops as well as developments in the value chain.
Looking back and forward
With total deliveries just over 130 tons Nut-in-shell (NIS) our harvest volume was up 11% compared to 2021. With an average Sound Kernel Recovery (SKR) of 33,82% our quality was also exceptionally good resulting in the 1st prize award for highest SKR from our local processor Royal Macadamia.
These positive results are a testament to our continued work on sustainability and the transition from conventional to regenerative agricultural practices.
On the other hand 2022 has shown a significant drop in prices across all quality styles (see graph below). This pressure on price increased towards the end of the year with suppliers selling off remaining nut stock in anticipation of the start of next years harvest. Several factors have contributed to this:
- uncertainty; geopolitical, inflation, energy prices, transport prices;
- a higher than anticipated Australian crop caused an unexpected increase of supply;
- weak NIS demand from China (result of lockdowns) has also affected kernel prices;
- strong USD prompts “power play” from off-takers
The exact effect on our revenues for 2022 is currently being determined as the last volumes are being sold. We will inform you of the results in our next quarterly newsletter together with our expectations for price and volumes moving forward.
Global Market summary 2022
The 2022 global crop is forecast to finish at 300,213 tonnes @ 3.5% moisture, up from 241,420 tonnes in 2021. All origins except Hawaii are reporting an increase in production compared to last year, with the largest increases coming from South Africa and China. The Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC) forecast for 2022 production is 70,139 tonnes @ 3.5% moisture, up from 53,320 tonnes in 2021. China is forecasting a crop of 62,500 tonnes @ 3.5% moisture for 2022, however many reports suggest a result up to 20% below this.
Overall global demand for macadamias continued to rise in the 12 months to September 2022. Global imports to the top 5 kernel markets were up 16% (24,349 tonnes to 28,160 tonnes).
In October we celebrated the end of our community project for young female farmers in Limpopo province. With this project which ran from December 2019 to November 2022 we trained 171 women in the basics of macadamia cultivation, together with Sawif (South African Women in Farming) and the Levubu Centre of Excellence.
A great opportunity for young female farmers to learn about the macadamia industry and how to cultivate trees on their home plots. Eventually 110 women completed all 4 training modules. A big success if one takes into account the challenges we and the women had during the Covid-19 period. Some even drove up to 4-5 hours to attend training days.
To celebrate, there was a graduation ceremony on 22 October where all women received a certificate for modules they participated in.The video gives a nice impression of the event and the entire program period.
SIZA environmental and Global GAP certification
In the 2nd half of 2022 we obtained the SIZA environmental (platinum standard) and Global GAP certificate. Both schemes are designed to assist growers like Welmac in evaluating and managing environmental (legal) compliance and risks. Main principles are minimizing negative impacts, measured and efficient use, shifting to (environmentally better) alternatives and restoration and conservation of ecosystem services. This concerns agricultural practices like ensuring a healthy soil, improving water use efficiency, responsible waste management, invasive alien plant control and reduction of green house gas emissions.
The current share certificate offer is almost completely full and will be successfully closed on January 31, 2023, after which the share certificates will be listed on the Nxchange trading platform. All share certificate holders who have purchased certificates during the current offering will be notified accordingly.
As of February 1, 2023, a new share certificate offer will open to strengthen the capital position of the majority shareholder Berkshire Holding BV.
Employee interview: Keagan Truter
Every newsletter we interview an employee to give you an idea of who’s working on our farm in South Africa.
Hi Keagan, tell us who you are and what your dreams are…
My name is Keagan Truter and I am the nursery manager. I am 24 years old and still happily single. I am going into my 4th year working at Welmac and enjoy every day here! I have been studying computer science part time. My dream is to advance innovation in agriculture and to find more sustainable ways to farm. I would also like to travel and see other countries.
What is your job on the farm and what does a typical working day look like for you?
My job as nursery manager is to manage all aspects of our nursery, this includes production, marketing, sales, record keeping and reporting and coordinating labour. A typical working day starts at 5 am, starting with a run before work. At 6:45 I clock in and normally go to the office, check my mails and plan the day ahead. A lot of my day is spent in the office doing planning, dealing with clients, ordering supplies, recording info. If I am not in the office I am in the nursery, on other farms, or from time to time expanding our bee hives or working on our permaculture/ food forests.
What do you particularly like and/or dislike about your job?
I like working in a farming environment, I enjoy the people I work with. And I like that as a company we are able to try new ways and new things. I also enjoy working with Barry and Nicolas planning our permaculture systems and hope that we can use the concepts on the farm one day.
What do you like to do in the weekends, any hobbies or favourite pastime?
Above all else I enjoy spending time with my family. I’m and avid runner and enjoy mountain biking, and to relax I like watching series and reading.
Recipe: Macadamia and apple crumble
Macadamias’ crunchy texture and buttery flavour make them the ideal ingredient for a crumble topping mixture, working well with any fruit you choose, but especially traditional green apples. If you don’t have ramekins, a medium sized ovenproof dish works just as well.
3 green apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1/2 cup plain flour
50 g unsalted butter (chilled, cut into cubes)
1/3 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup macadamias (chopped)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 4 x 1 cup ramekin dishes on an ovenproof tray. Place the apples in a saucepan and pour over the lemon juice and ¼ cup of water. Cook over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile place the flour, butter, sugar and macadamias in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble. Divide the apples between the ramekins. Spoon a good heap of crumble over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.