Western Australians can look forward to a wider selection of locally-grown produce this Christmas with the first harvest from the state’s first commercial walnut orchard.
Omega Walnuts, which is based in WA’s South West region, started putting the first batch of freshly harvested walnuts through its production facility today.
Premier Mark McGowan, who opened the new Manjimup production facility, said the local family-run business was an excellent example of the “fresh WA produce” on offer in the state.
“Growing, harvesting and processing walnuts creates jobs through orchard management, equipment maintenance, packing and shipping,” he said.
“It also has a flow-on effect to industries that support the wholesale and retail of these walnuts.
Omega Walnuts is expected to process up to 110 tonnes of premium and organic walnuts in 2018, grown on more than 23,000 trees across 65 hectares in Manjimup and Nannup.
December marks the start of the Christmas processing season where walnuts are cracked and packed to order to maintain their freshness.
Most of Omega Walnuts’ produce is sold to the local market, however, the WA business intends to further showcase its local produce in parts of Asia and the northern hemisphere.
The Manjimup orchard is dedicated to innovation and agricultural research and is looking to expand into walnut oil production next year.