Kenyan Macadamia Guide

Market Penetration Strategy

What differentiates Kenyan macadamia from that of other countries?

The growing EU demand for macadamia, and especially organic macadamia, is rooted in a greater interest among EU consumers in food products with superior health benefits as well as natural cosmetics. An estimated 80 percent of macadamia nuts are consumed as snacks on the EU market; the remaining 20 percent are used as ingredients, for example in cookies or ice cream. Looking at average prices for macadamia kernel imports to Europe, Kenyan nuts used to achieve lower prices than imports from top producers Australia and South Africa. However, average prices almost caught up with other key origins in 2018, although quality issues at origin prevail.

Source: CBI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

Trade Overview

What are the top export destinations of Kenyan macadamia?

Between 90 and 95% of Kenya’s macadamia is produced for export. Key export destinations for Kenyan macadamia are the U.S., the EU, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Canada. Direct imports of Kenyan macadamia enter the EU mainly through the Netherlands and Germany, accounting for a combined share of around 21% of total imports in 2020. Small volumes also go to Spain, the UK, and Italy. 

Source: CBI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

Seasonality of Main Producing Regions

What varieties of macadamia are grown in Kenya?

The three main varieties grown in Kenya with commercial importance are:

  • Macadamia integrifolia
  • Macadamia ternifolia
  • Macadamia tetraphylla

M. tetraphylla is preferred for its ability to germinate uniformly, grow faster, and is considered somewhat easier to graft and transplant and produce slightly spindle-shaped nuts. Only two of these three species (Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla) can be eaten raw.



Nuts & Oils Crops Directorate (AFA)

Regulations in Exporting Country

What is the procedure of exporting macadamia in Kenya?

The procedure involves the 20 steps summarized below:

Source:  InfoTrade Kenya

Required Documents

Which body regulates the export of macadamia in Kenya?

The Nut & Oil Crops Directorate regulates the nut industry by registering and licensing all players in the value chain. Currently, there are 25 licensed macadamia processors in Kenya. Further, the Directorate carries out regular inspections on the stakeholders to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.

During inspections, food safety standards are strictly enforced while at the same time adhering to the industry code of practice and fair trade requirements. The inspectors ensure processors are certified for specific destination markets and carry out hazard analysis at critical control points.

Source: Nuts & Oil Crops Directorate

Quality Control/Certification

What documents are required to export macadamia in Kenya?

  • An export license from HCDA
  • Phytosanitary and conformity certificates from KEPHIS
  • Euro 1 Certificate (For EU Market)
  • Global GAP Certification
  • MRL limit compliance (EU)
  • For UK supermarkets, they require BRC certification

Source: InfoTrade Kenya

General Product Introduction

Which countries does Kenya compete with in exporting macadamia?

Kenya's competitors for exporting macadamia are South Africa (USD 171,106K), Australia (USD 166,986K), China (USD 33,575K), and the Netherlands (USD 32,003). (HS 080262 shelled)

Source: CBI, Ministry of foreign affairs, the Netherlands

Is Kenya a prominent producer of macadamia?

As of June 2020, Kenya was the third top macadamia producer, with a global market share of 13% (7,750 tons on a kernel basis). The role of macadamia as a cash crop for foreign exchange earnings has steadily increased in recent years. In 2018, exports of macadamia kernel had a value of KES 1,380 per kilo (USD 13/KG), making it one of the most lucrative cash crops in Kenya after tea.

Source: CBI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

How is macadamia produced in Kenya?

The bulk of Kenyan macadamia is produced by about 200,000 smallholder farmers. Kenya’s macadamia production increased rapidly during the last decade, from around 11,000 tons’ nut-in-shell (NIS) production in 2009 to 42,500 tons in 2018. Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) estimates that, with increased acreage under the crop, production will reach 60,000 tons NIS by 2022. That would constitute an increase of around 40 percent from the production achieved in 2018.

Source: CBI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands

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