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Clem & Vanessa Cox of Mudgee

ABOUT US - Clem & Vanessa Cox

Clem and Vanessa’s story is one of passion, patience, and endeavour.

In 1997, they were sold 200 hazelnut nursery plants, a large hazelnut cracking machine and the dream of building a hazelnut industry. Their first nursery was on friend’s farm at Budgee Budgee, near Mudgee.

Until the trees sold to their first growers began bearing, the Coxes purchased a wide range of hazelnut varieties from Australian growers. They sold value-added kernel at farmers' markets, gleaning valuable information on the unique flavour and cracking performance of different varieties, and consumer acceptance.

In 2002, they collaborated with Australian hazelnut researchers: cracking hazelnuts grown in five trials to provide data for the Hazelnut Market Assessment Study.

By 2004, they were convinced the Australian selection, Tokolyi Brownfield Cosford (TBC for short) was the variety to hang their hats on. During that winter, Vanessa conducted pollination trials to confirm the compatibility of two other Australian varieties – Turkish Cosford and Paskas Late. In 2005, they expanded the nursery, relocating it to 6 hectares of river-flats on the edge of the Mudgee township.

In 2007, they sold their historic home and moved onto the property, building a purpose designed shed for receiving, storing and processing the hazelnuts now coming from their growers. They planted their own 3000 tree grove of Tokolyi Brownfield Cosford in 2007 and 2008.

Pursuit of the vision has taken the Coxes to hazelnut and other nut farms; processing sheds; and research stations across NSW, in Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria; and overseas to UK, Spain and New Zealand.

Vanessa is the current President of Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc (HGA), and its delegate on the Australian Nut Industry Council.

Read Sydney Morning Herald's article on Clem & Vanessa

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