I was told yesterday that Walnuts Australia is developing 300,00 hectares, that’s 300,00, near it’s present orchard at Leeton. That is a massive investment in walnuts in Oz. I think they have made the correct decision. There is a huge future for walnuts in Australia. Like almonds. Just look at the present drought in California; and they are the northern hemisphere.
But; how should a small producer like ourselves respond to what some might perceive as a threat. Well, good luck to them. They operate on a very different business model. Others have their own too.
As I was slashing the orchard this afternoon I came to an understanding of our business model. I had to stop slashing as I noticed a ute on the road by the dam. I knew who was driving. My wife had arranged for Peter and Mick to come and prune the cherry trees in our home orchard. These two gentlemen from Italy and Ukraine have over fifty years of knowledge and experience in horticulture and dairy – tomatoes, stone fruit and milk. They are both retired but wander at large, getting involved in production and marketing. They are garrulous, joking buddies happy to share an anecdote and always on the lookout to provide advice or spot a bargain. Wine and salami have been their staple interest, but walnuts have crept into the agenda.
We now bring something to this table. With walnuts appearing on our trees in increasing volume we now have a voice at this locally based market.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to grow, process and market walnuts.