Brookfarm

Partner profile

Brookfarm is one of Australia’s leading producers of premium-quality macadamia products. The award- winning range is produced in Brookfarm’s purpose-built Byron Bay bakehouse using the world’s finest ingredients.

From humble beginnings to leading producer

Pam and Martin Brook’s passion for healthy, high-quality food and their dream of family life in the country inspired them to open Brookfarm. The Brooks have transformed a rundown dairy farm in the Byron Bay hinterland into a working macadamia farm. The family-owned business proudly makes exceptional food products, including mueslis, muesli bars, granola, nut mixes, roasted macadamias and macadamia oils.

Brookfarm’s rainforest environment is the original home of the macadamia, a native Australian tree. The Byron hinterland’s rich, red and fertile volcanic soils, high rainfall and warm, subtropical climate creates the ideal conditions for growing macadamias and producing food sustainably.

Byron Bay company Brookfarm recently enlisted a trio of Chinese international students for work experience through Southern Cross University’s Volunteer Connect program.

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Family-owned business

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Leading producer of macadamia nuts

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Partners with Southern Cross University on Volunteer Connect

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A sustainable business that has regenerated a rainforest

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The Brookfarm Bakehouse is solar-powered

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Uses native animals and insects to pollinate and protect their trees

Expanding into China

Supported by Study NSW’s Partner Projects, Southern Cross University’s Volunteer Connect program is open to first year international students and is designed to assist students in understanding Australian workplace culture.

Brookfarm’s Head of Marketing, Clinton Bown, says the company has enjoyed significant growth in exports over the past few years, with the Chinese market alone accounting for at least 20% of its sales. Working with Southern Cross University’s business students has helped Brookfarm understand Asian markets and their Chinese customers.

The international students have influenced Brookfarm’s marketing strategy in China. They also helped Brookfarm redesign its digital interface on Tmall, the Chinese-language marketplace. This is valuable business experience that the students now have on their résumés.

Brookfarm

From an employer perspective

When engaging international students, Brookfarm is looking for the same qualities they seek in employees. Head of Marketing Clinton Bown says that is ‘a willingness to learn, to speak up and to involve themselves in our environment.’

Mr Bown explains that international students at Brookfarm have had an opportunity to learn how every part of a business works. Seeing how business operates in regional Australia also gives the students a new perspective on industry in their own country.

‘This program offers industry experience that takes classroom learning and makes it practical. I believe this program is a real link between the highest level of education that our country offers and the practical education offered by our businesses.’

The three international students who completed work experience at Brookfarm were from different parts of China. They helped Brookfarm understand the cultural differences between people from the north, south and west of the country. The students also gave the company insights into the consumer preferences of Chinese millennials and how best to communicate with this market.

Brookfarm

From a student perspective

The students spent a total of 15 hours with Brookfarm’s sales and marketing team, sharing their insights on a range of breakfast products and helping to develop a Chinese-language product information website.

One of the students, Qunyao (Ann) Liu, said she was thrilled to have worked alongside the Brookfarm team.

'As an overseas student, most of my understanding of Australia has come from my university life. This program gives me more understanding about Australia’s companies and economy.'