Australia’s leading manufacturer of macadamia-based foods and oils Brookfarm recently had their products ranged on the shelves of prestigious USA retailer Williams Sonoma stores. Brookfarm also sells through Whole Foods Market and is now looking to expand distribution into Canada and Russia. “Canada is a market we would like to expand into in the future,” Mr Brook said. “We also need to be mindful that we can meet the Canadian packaging requirements cost-effectively for their market. We know our products are popular there by requests for mail-order.”

Founded by Martin and Pam Brook, the company operates a 39 hectare macadamia farm and modern production facility. “Our Brookfarm macadamia oils are our most successful export in the USA and were recently picked up in 237 Williams Sonoma stores nationally. The health benefits of rich source of omega 3 and monounsaturates and cholesterol free, coupled with the cooking versatility and taste of the oils is the key ingredient to its success. New Zealand is also an excellent but more competitive market and our macadamia muesli does just as well as the oils.” Macadamia nut oil has the ideal Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio of 1:1 Brookfarm said. Oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower and cottonseed are high in omega-6. Many margarines, salad dressings and mayonnaise are made of these. An imbalance with too much omega-6 fatty acids promotes heart disease. Macadamia oil is an ideal substitute.

Brookfarm pointed out that macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides the building blocks for the enzymes that control the burning of fat. Australian researchers have investigated palmitoleic acid as a treatment for obesity.

Brookfarm also contains some 30,000 sub-tropical and eucalypt trees and plants 800-1000 new rainforest trees per annum for its farm rainforest regeneration program. “These trees are a vital source of biodiversity for the farm harbouring rainforest bees and a complex mix of predator bugs and other insects helping maintain a balanced farm ecosystem,” Mr Brook said.

“Organic certification is underway and will open new opportunities in the organic market for us. The main advantage of the certification is the innovation in farming methods used to achieve this. We use a number of organic ingredients in our products so certification of the farm will enable us to produce organically certified products as part of the product range.”

In addition to macadamia nuts and almonds, at the recent Fine Food show held in Sydney, Brookfarm displayed three new breakfast products Power Porrij (450g), Gluten Free Bircher and Gluten Free Porrij (both 400g), all with a complex blend of natural sources of high protein amaranth, quinoa and golden flaxseed.

“Initial interest from the trade has been phenomenal with customers and stores indicating they will take the products straight away based on the Brookfarm brand and it being a new high protein breakfast product offering,” Mr Brook said. “Porrij will be taken all year round rather than seasonally as we originally thought. The products are due for release in December 2011. We continue to see steady growth for our product both domestically and internationally, in particular for our quality gluten-free foods and snack lines,” Mr Brook said. “The main driver for this we believe is the need for good quality, healthy snack foods. Even though there is an economic downturn, consumers seem to be cutting back on the bigger ticket items but are spending it on good quality food items.”Brookfarm will be exhibiting again in 2012 with its North American distributor at the Fancy Food Shows.