Income grows for Hawaii island macadamia nut company

Hilo-based macadamia nut producer Royal Hawaiian Orchards L.P. pocketed more income in the third quarter as the company formerly known as ML Macadamia Orchards L.P. geared up to launch retail sales of flavored nuts in snack packages.

The company on Wednesday reported earning $296,000 in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, up from $38,000 in the same quarter last year.

The gain was mainly from nut prices that were 14 percent higher. Nut production was down 10 percent.

Total revenue rose 5 percent to $6.3 million in the recent quarter from $6 million a year ago.

Royal Hawaiian began selling 12 varieties of flavored nuts and fruit-and-nut clusters last week. Revenue from the new endeavor will start to show up in the company’s fourth-quarter financial report. The company reported spending $147,000 on the retail effort in the third quarter.

The retail endeavor represents a shift for Royal Hawaiian, which historically sold all its nuts in bulk to Hershey Co.’s Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp.

Royal Hawaiian plans to retain one-third of its nuts next year to use for packaged food sales through subsidiary Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Inc. and perhaps some bulk sales.

Income grows for Hawaii island macadamia nut company – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Fire damages room at Big Island macadamia nut factory

Some $80,000 in damages was done to a small room of the Hawaiian Host macadamia nut factory in Captain Cook in a fire late Sunday, Hawaii Island fire officials said.

Firefighters took 18 minutes to get the fire under control after receiving the call at 5:22 p.m.

Fire crews arrived to the two-story metal warehouse and found smoke coming out of the vents and eves of the first floor “sampling room”. Employees had been evacuated.

The fire was contained to the room with two macadamia nut roaster ovens, officials said.

Officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Fire damages room at Big Island macadamia nut factory – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Feds say firm abused Thai farm workers in Hawaii, Washington

The U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it filed lawsuits in Hawaii and Washington state against Global Horizons Inc., a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, and eight farms, including six in Hawaii.

The agency said Global Horizons brought more than 200 men from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii and Washington, where they were subjected to severe abuse.

The EEOC contends that Global Horizons engaged in a pattern or practice of national origin and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Hundreds of additional potential claimants and witnesses are expected, the EEOC said.

The agency said the Thai workers were assigned to work at these farms in Hawaii: Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii and Maui Pineapple Farms.

The Washington state farms named in the lawsuits are Green Acre Farms and Valley Fruit Orchards.

The lawsuit follows criminal charges brought against Global Horizons last year. The U.S. government in September indicted Global Horizons owner Mordechai Yosef Orian and others with exploiting about 400 Thai workers in forced-labor conditions from May 2004 to September 2005.

Last JAL Kona-to-Tokyo flight lands on Big Island

KAILUA-KONA (AP) – After 14 years of serving the Big Island, financially strapped Japan Airlines has ended its flight between Tokyo and Kona International Airport.

Passengers arriving Friday on JAL Flight 70 from Narita International Airport were greeted with lei and live Hawaiian music, the Big Island Visitors Bureau said.

JAL offered the only direct international flight outside of North America to the Big Island, the bureau said. Since the inaugural Kona flight in June 1996, JAL has carried more than 980,000 visitors between Narita and Kona, it said.

”It is also a vital carrier of Big Island exports including macadamia nuts, papayas, coffee, spirulina, abalone and desalinated sea water to the Japanese market,” the bureau said in a news release.

”The JAL flight is without a doubt the most important international route for Hawaii island. The positive impact it has made on our economy for the last 14 years is highly significant, and we truly hope to welcome JAL back someday,”


Japan airlines ends service between Kona and Narita

by Chelsea Jensen

Japan Airlines’ final flight to Kailua-Kona came and went Friday morning, ending 14 years of daily service to West Hawaii.

Since the direct Narita, Japan, to Kailua-Kona flight began in June 1996 nearly a million Japanese visitors have arrived at Kona International Airport, said Hawaii Tourism Authority Tourism and Marketing Vice President David Uchiyama. Annually, the flight brought in more than 70,000 visitors into Kona International Airport, he said.

“This flight is the connection between Japan and the island. The relationship between Japan and Hawaii is very close so this is a very tough time for both sides,” Uchiyama said.

The flight was one of 15 international routes Japan Airlines announced in April 2010 it would suspend in order to restructure the company through bankruptcy.

Tsuruta Tetsuro and his wife, Nobuko, were two of the approximately 240 people waiting to board the final Japan Airlines flight out of Kona Friday. The couple, from Fukuoka, Japan, said they are regular visitors to the island and will continue to visit even though the direct flight has been suspended.

“It’s a pity it will make it a little more inconvenient to travel here,” Tsuruta said. “We will miss this flight, but JAL will get better soon, and they will bring back this flight.”

ML Macadamia loses $118,000 in quarter

ML Macadamia Orchards LP said today its loss narrowed in the second quarter to $118,000 from $291,000 in what is usually one of the year’s lowest harvest periods.

There was no harvest and there were no macadamia nut sales for the three months ended June 30.

Revenue fell 38.9 percent to $626,000 from $1 million a year ago.

ML Macadamia loses $118,000 in quarter – Hawaii News –

Ilocos farmers to grow Hawaiian macadamia nuts

Written by Leilani Adriano / Correspondent

Monday, 28 September 2009 18:23

LAOAG CITY—Who says that macadamia nuts can only be grown in the state of Hawaii?

Not anymore, as interested Ilocos Norte farmers are now ready to cultivate a variety of macadamia nuts ideally grown in a tropical climate like in this province.

This was announced by Ilocos Norte Gov. Michael Keon on September 23 after company investors from Hawaii manifested interest in growing macadamia nuts in the province.

Based on scientific study, experts say Ilocos Norte’s rich soil and weather condition have been tested and proven “feasible” to cultivate macadamia nuts, a multimillion-dollar industry in Hawaii.

The proposed cultivation of macadamia nuts in the province, however, needs to be discussed further among Ilocano farmers and groups and individuals interested to venture into this newly introduced investment for the province.

The governor, who visited Hawaii together with some provincial board members, mayors and vice mayors two months ago, said it is a “good idea” to introduce the cultivation of macadamias in some idle lands of the province so that farmers, private business and the government could benefit from it.

This, however, does not mean that farmers would be shifting the traditional planting of cash crops like rice, corn, garlic, onions and other high-value crops, such as locally grown vegetables, but also to provide opportunity among farmers to try cultivating other alternative sources of income, like planting macadamias.

The efforts to produce Macadamia Nuts in Brazil

by Dan Vallada – Sao Paulo

The macadamia nut has been cultivated in Brazil for four decades. Researchers are trying to increase its productivity and resistance.

The commercial cultivation of macadamia nuts in Brazil is recent, started only 40 years ago and productivity is still low. The country, the seventh in world production (2,400 tonnes in 7 thousand hectares), has about 250 producers, 160 of them in the State of Sao Paulo. The biggest Brazilian harvest happened in 2006, with 3,500 tons. Therefore, technicians and researchers are joining forces to study its varieties, nutrition, genetic improvement and phytosanitary control.

Hawaii Macadamia Nuts

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Macadamia Nuts (Final Season Estimates) Report.

Wailuku Macadamia Nut field after switch from Sugar May 1979-Click for larger image
Wailuku Maui Macadamia Nut field after switch from Sugar Cane May 1979-Click for larger image
Hawaii Macadamia Nut Report

Please visit the website for more information:

Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909

“HAWAII MACADAMIA NUTS” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED twice a year. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $2 per year to all others.

Utilized production from Hawaii’s 2008-09 macadamia nut harvest is estimated at 50.0 million pounds (net, wet-in-shell basis) according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Hawaii Field Office. The estimate for 2008-09 represents a 9.0 million pound or 22 percent increase from last season.

Season Overview
Timely showers and an increased demand for inshell nuts contributed to this season’s higher output. Processors noted some improvement in the quality of nuts delivered this season. On the other hand, growers did report the prolonged dry conditions, pests, pigs, and volcanic haze adversely affected orchards and harvesting. Others mentioned it was economically unfeasible to pick their crop and may switch to other commodities or temporarily stop farming.

Harvested Acreage Unchanged, Yields Up
For the 2008-09 season, growers harvested an estimated 15,000 acres and remained unchanged for the past three seasons. Statewide, there were 17,000 acres in crop and an estimated 1.2 million macadamia nut trees.

Yields averaged 3,330 pounds per acre (net, wet-inshell basis) for the 2008-09 season, or 600 pounds more per acre than the previous season. Average moisture content for this season’s entire crop was 20.5 percent compared with 21.3 percent for the 2007-08 crop.

Farm Value Increases
The farm price for macadamia nuts averaged 67.0 cents per pound (net, wet-in-shell basis) for 2008-09 season, up 7.0 cents from the 2007-08 average. Farm value is estimated at $33.5 million (net, wet-in-shell basis) for this crop season, a 36 percent increase from last season due to a larger harvest and higher farm price.