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The Macadamia Nut Industry in Hawaii

Articles and information about the Macadamia Nut industry in the Hawaiaiian Islands.

Wahiawa Macadamia Nut Field
Macadamia Nut Processing Plant
Photo Credit: Kirk Lee Aeder

History of Macadamia Nut Farming in Hawaii
In 1881 an Australia tourist brought some macadamia nut seeds to Hawaii, and they were planted at Kapulena near the Waipio Valley by sugar plantation manager William H. Purvis is Macadamia nuts were first planted commercially in Hawaii in 1921, when Ernest Van Tassel of Massachusetts planted a macadamia nut plantation on the island of Oahu,hear honolulu. In 1922 he formed the Hawaii Macadamia Nut Company, and several other Hawaii planters also started macadamia nut farms. Commercial processing of macadamia nuts began at Van Tassel's Kakaako factory. The nuts were shelled, roasted, salted, bottled, and sold as Van's Macadamia Nuts.In the 1930's, Ellen Dye Candies and the candy shop in the Alexander Young Hotel began selling chocolatecovered macadamia nuts. Hawaii now has 700 macadamia nut farms, and eight macadamia nut processing plants, and the industry employes approximately 3000 workers.

Facts About Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts grow on trees and they are part of the protea family. A macadamia tree takes about seven years to begin producing nuts, and it will be at it's production peak when it is 10 to 12 years old. The nuts are not picked off the trees.The fall off the tree when they are fully ripe, and they are harvested at that time. The nuts must be husked within 24 hours after falling off the tree. A tree can produced about 65 pounds of nuts a year.

Article: Hawaii in a Nutshell
A 2002 article by Tim Ryan in the Honolulu Star Bulletin Newspaper about macadamia nut production in Hawaii and macadamia nut farms on the Big Island.

Hawaii Macadamia Nut Production
- Preliminary Season Estimates (PDF)
- Final Season Estimates (PDF)

Macadamia Nut Farms in Hawaii

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
This small, indepenently owned macadamia nut company has orchards along the northern Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. I'm certain if they have their own orchards, or if they work with a group of independent macadamia nut farmers.

ML Macadamia Orchards
This macadamia nut producer has planted more then 4000 acres of macadamia nut trees in three different locations on the Big island of Hawaii. They sell all of their nuts to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation.

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
The original orchard planted by the company that would later be known as Mauna Loa, was planted in 1946 near Kea'au on the Big Island, and the first crop was harvested in 1956. By 1976, Mauna Loa had converted five sugar plantations to macadamia nut plantations. Today they have nearly 10,000 acres of orchards on the Big Island, and their main processing plant is near Hilo on the east coast of the Big Island.

MacFarms of Hawaii
This macadamian nut comany planted their first orchard in 1977and they now have the world's largest single macadamia nut orchard, located on the South Kona coast of the Big island and nearly 4000 acres in size.
- 2002 Honolulu Star Bulletin Article

Related Links
About Hawaii
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Elsewhere on the Web
Crop Profile for Macadamia Nut in Hawaii (2002)

A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on this page or if you would like us to add any information or links, please send a message to the email address on our contacts page.

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