THE world's largest macadamia processing company is set for a $13.3 million expansion, creating 40 new jobs in Bundaberg.
Marquis Macadamias' Bundaberg facility is a vertically integrated growing, processing and wholesaling operation, with the company sourcing crop from 180 shareholding growers and 170 non-shareholder growers throughout Australia.
The expansion will allow the company to process an extra 3000 tonnes of macadamias a year.
Marquis Macadamias started as Macadamia Processing Company in 1983, when it was established by a group of four Australian macadamia growers in 1983.
It is one of only two processors globally able to deliver a certified Log5 pasteurised product, allowing for reduced quarantine time to create a significant market advantage.
Marquis Macadamias CEO Larry McHugh said the company's expansion plans for its Bundaberg facility will boost employment in the Wide Bay and ensure future product demands can be met.
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"With our facility currently operating at close to maximum capacity, this project will mean we're ready to support future demands and grow and create long-term, stable jobs in Bundaberg," Mr McHugh said.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said support through the government's $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will help Marquis Macadamias increase their processing capacity by 25 per cent.
"Global appetite for our macadamias is huge, and Marquis' $13.3 million expansion will ensure local growers can take a bigger bite of export opportunities," Mr Dick said.
"This project will take Marquis' annual processing capacity from 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes, allowing them to get more Queensland macadamias onto shelves and into households across the world.
"As part of the expansion, Marquis will build a new cold storage warehouse, specialised bulk drying and packing facilities, and a solar farm to generate power for their operations.
"This doesn't just help Marquis Macadamias either, it's of benefit to the hundreds of Aussie growers who Marquis work with to get supply."
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the expansion will further solidify Bundaberg as Australia's largest macadamia producing region.
"This is a significant investment in regional manufacturing and innovation that will bring jobs and growth to the Bundaberg region," Mr Smith said."
"Doing this will drive local industry, help local workers, and benefit hundreds of local families here in Bundaberg."
There are five macadamia processing facilities in Queensland, including Marquis' Bundaberg facility, that cumulatively process approximately 43 per cent of Australia's crop.
In addition to its Bundaberg facility, Marquis also operates a processing facility in Lismore, NSW.
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