Commander Rodrick Fayle awarded a 2017 Queen's Birthday Order of Australia Medal.
Commander Rodrick Fayle awarded a 2017 Queen's Birthday Order of Australia Medal. Samantha Poate

OAM honours: The man who helped shape the macca industry

HE IS the man who made a significant contribution and helped build up the macadamia industry to what it is today.

In a time when the industry was in a period of major upheaval, Rodrick Fayle sat on the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) as President.

His role in the community was instrumental in the restructuring of Australian macadamia farming in the 90's.

"There was this huge transition that went on in this period, about 10 years of complete change," Mr Fayle said.

In recognition of this efforts, Mr Faylehas now been selected to receive an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) as part of the 2017 Queen's Birthday list.

"It was a big surprise, I was over the moon," Mr Fayle said.

"It's one of those things you don't really expect because it is some years now since I was active in the macadamia industry."

After serving as a Submarine Commander in the Royal Australian Navy (1959-1987), Mr Fayle became a macadamia farmer from 1990 to 2005 and was President of of the AMS between 1997-2000.

He played a role in diversifying the market by exporting goods in Asia and Europe, as well as establishing the domestic market.

"We went from almost zero to something like half our production being sold in Australia in a very short order," Mr Fayle said.

Other key contributions included a compulsory levy, which provided necessary funds for research and development in the macadamia Industry, and a permanent board for the Macadamia Society by providing them with a proper office and full-time professional staff.

"We combined growers, processors, marketers and research people all in one organisation," he said.

"This meant that growers weren't just interested in just getting stuff out the farm gate, they're interested the whole chain."

Projects and developments funded by the established levy included: breeding and germ preservation programs, finger wheel harvest technology, environment sustainability practices and MacMan.

In 2000 Mr Fayle's efforts were recognised when he was awarded the top industry accolade, the "Norm Greber Award" for outstanding service to the Australian macadamia industry.

Since retiring Mr Fayle has maintained his contribution to the community as a member of the Lismore West Rotary Club and has since be named President.