SAMAC newsletter

Dear SAMAC Member

Feedback on the Macadamia Nursery Association

Conducting business in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner should be a must in every aspect of a business. Over the past decade, the retail industry (and ultimately the consumer) has set very high and demanding standards of ethical sourcing, with a much stronger emphasis on supply chain transparency and sustainability.

Nurseries, as the starting point in the supply chain, has new pressure to grow safe and healthy products (seedlings or cuttings) that meet these requirements. The Macadamia Nursery Association therefore initiated in 2018 a 3rd party auditing certification scheme, which is performed by the Seedling Growers Association of South Africa (SGASA).

Certification creates an auditable standard that is easily applied to small or large nurseries. The scoring system is simple and highlights major and minor concerns as well as provide recommendations for system enhancements. The SGASA Auditor has a Pathology background and extensive experience in nursery operations; therefor playing a crucial role in ensuring the success and professional implementation of the SGASA standards and ultimately ensuring for growers’ better trees which equals better quality yields.

What is being audited at the nurseries?
The auditing looks at aspects such as water management, growing media, containers and trays, seed sourcing and management records, seed germination and growing protocols, clonal rootstocks sourcing, growing protocols, pests and diseases, tree quality standards, nursery production facilities and best practices, agrochemical storage, use and records, health and safety compliance, nursery admin and financial controls, Fusarium and Phytophthora controls, labour relations and employment equity, measuring equipment calibration and training records.

Macadamia nurseries who become members of SGASA, also have valuable access to researchers, research institutions, working groups and other technical expertise. The Chairman of the Macadamia Nursery Association is also part of the SAMAC R & D subcommittee.

Audited Macadamia Nurseries

The graph below reflects how many nurseries have been audited and certified in 2019.

The following are planned for 2020:

o SGASA will establish for farmers a complaint resolution mechanism to follow regarding plant quality concerns

o SGASA will engage sooner with nurseries to schedule timeously audits in order to ensure that when the 12-month certification lapses, a new audit is already completed

o SGASA will jointly with the Chairman of the Macadamia Nursery Association review and amend standards

o SGASA will provide training to nurseries on the required audit standards

If you require any further information on the above, kindly do not hesitate to contact the Chairman of the Macadamia Nursery Association, Mr Dustin Cooper at 082 255 2331.