Caboor Farms is a Victorian based hazelnut grower with a focus firmly on domestic and export growth.
We're looking at expanding our market to fully realise the value of our hazelnut products," said Founder/CEO Ben Barrow.
Recently Fresh Plaza caught up with Ben as he exhibited his products at Japan's FOODEX under the State of Victoria stand.
"As a vertically integrated agribusiness we grow, harvest, manufacture and market premium hazelnut based products - to Australia and the world," he said.
"We have complete supply chain oversight and work extensively with our growers and on our own farms."
While growing only hazelnuts, Caboor Farms sources other nut varieties such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios and peanuts from other Australian growers to extend the range for consumers.
Established in 2015, Carboor Farms is the largest Australian hazelnut grower with 12,500 hazelnut trees spread across 410 acres of prime land near Mount Buffalo in North East Victoria.
They have an extensive planting program that will result in planting of 87,000 trees over the next few years - with a large number of immature trees coming online with production in 2019.
"In addition to our own trees, Carboor Farms purchases and aggregates entire hazelnut crops from farms in the north east Victoria area under long term purchase agreements," Ben said.
The farm is named after the nearby small town of Caboor in the King Valley Catchment which, according to Ben, is ideal for hazelnut production given the area receives up to a metre of natural rainfall per year.
"We have an irrigation licence. We have 60km of drip-lines installed but to settle the trees and toughen them, we make a conscious decision not to irrigate until really necessary."
Ben found FOODEX a positive experience, making connections with Japanese based traders and other Victorian producers he had not previously met.
"The Japanese market is interesting as local buyers want volumes we cannot possibly ever supply and other buyers are happy to grow with us."
He sees a positive in being counter-seasonal to the larger hazelnut producing countries like Turkey. Already Caboor have exported into the Philippines on a consistent basis and Vietnam and China as opportunities arise.
"Our product has been well received in specialist markets here in Japan, especially in the gourmet whole-food market."
"We've got a good story to tell and we're pleased we can now tell the Caboor story to our export markets too.
Full details at http://www.freshplaza.com/article/191322/Australian-hazelnuts-focus-on-export-options