J.E. Kenez
In Australia up to the 1970s there would have been only 6 to 10 walnut orchards to supply the demand for fresh, locally produced nuts in shell. From 1970 on, there has been an increasing interest in local production and when the Australian Walnut Industry Association (AWIA) was established in 1990, it had 14 financial members. Interested growers soon realized that for easy access of information on orchard establishment, production and methods of crop disposal, it pays to become a member of the Association. Within the first 10 years, membership increased to close to 100. At present the membership is fairly steady at just over 100. However, over the last 10 years tree numbers have increased quite dramatically because of large scale developments by corporations. Thus the structure of the industry changed from being mainly cottage industry to one based on corporations. Information transfer was always considered as one of the most important functions of the Association. AWIA produced a Newsletter, distributed 2–4 times yearly, had at least annually one weekend seminar with talks and orchard visits held at various walnut growing areas and established its own website. AWIA established the Standards for Marketing Walnuts in Australia. Members were asked to contribute a voluntary levy that will partly fund a new research project being considered at present. A survey on orchard size, production, aspects of management, marketing and operators’ age was conducted among members in 2008. While only 25% of members returned the forms, data obtained provides a reasonably characteristic profile of the local walnut production – apart from the few, most recently established large scale orchards managed by corporations.
Kenez, J.E. (2010). DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN WALNUT INDUSTRY. Acta Hortic. 861, 63-72
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.861.7
industry development, Australian tree numbers, Australian production, association activities, industry survey

Acta Horticulturae