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Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (WTAAC)

Success Stories

Macadamia Nut Grower and Processor

  The company is engaged in the growing, purchasing, processing and marketing of macadamia nuts. As of March 2000, the company was the third largest marketer in Hawaii and in the top ten worldwide. However, beginning in 1998, foreign imports (primarily from Australia) began to have a significant impact on the company’s business. As a result, the dramatic price decrease, shell macadamia nut sales decreased and employment decreased 23% to 58 by December 31, 2000.

The company with the assistance from the University of Southern California’s Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (Western TAAC) became certified as trade impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) in May 2001.

Western TAAC and the firm's management developed a strategy to focus on markets in which raw bulk foreign macadamia products cannot compete effectively, and which the two major U.S. producers choose not to serve. The strategy focuses on establishing world-class macadamia processing capabilities, minimize growing and processing costs, and focus on its targeted niche markets to improve profitability by expanding product offerings.

The Company has successfully completing its 5th year in the implementation phase of the TAA Program. During this period the company with Western TAAC assistance, implemented its information technology project, phase 1 of its marketing, promotion projects, and 8 of its production engineering projects. During this period these projects contributed to the company’s increasing export sales to Japan, a targeted market offering premium profit margins. Since beginning its public/private sector partnership working relationship with the TAA for Firms Program, sales increased 126% to $7M, productivity increased 244% to $140,000 sales per employee, and achieved its most profitable year.

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