About Carobs Australia

Carobs Australia Inc was founded in 1998 to promote understanding and greater adoption of carob tree growing, harvesting, processing and marketing. This replaced the Carob Growers Association that was founded in 1994 with a new association incorporated under Western Australian legislation. Members are located all over Australia and Spain. Carobs Australia provides technical information and practical experience about best management practices for planting, care and restoration of carob trees using superior plant material. Field days are attended whenever possible, and publications are available about the industry. The Coit-Williams Memorial World Carob Library has been built up over many years with hardcopy and digital copies of documents about all aspects of the carob industry : carob seed germination, soils, budding & grafting, orchard layout & management, processing, animal and human food products, chemistry and nutritional benefits.

The Committee

Four Executive Committee Members of Carobs Australia are responsible for general business and long-term planning:

Alex Holds – President | Public Relations Manager
Alex is married with 2 adult children. Having retired from the crayfishing industry he now operates a holiday home (www.mtpleasanthomestead.com) on the Greenough Flats near Geraldton, Western Australia  Alex started planting carob trees on the Greenough property in 1996 and has 2100 trees growing on the floodplain on 40 acres of the Greenough river floodplain.

Dr Henry Esbenshade – Secretary Treasurer
Henry is married with two children and has Tertiary and University qualifications in low rainfall land-use. He managed his family’s orchard company in northern California and worked on agricultural and dry land tree crops projects in the USA, Sierra Leone West Africa and Australia. In the mid-1980s Henry brought 12 high yielding European-American carob cultivars into Australia and co-authored Growing Carobs in Australia. Since then he has assisted farmers with practical and technical information to plant carobs, with Men of the Trees & a WA University developed carob syrup as a new product, and co-founded the Carob Growers Association & Carobs Australia.

George Matchett – Member
George is married with three children, eleven grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He has Tertiary education qualifications in science, teaching, manual arts and welding. He has taught school in Western Australia (WA), New Zealand & the South Pacific, and currently owns and operates two companies in the Geraldton area (350 km north of Perth WA). George has a personal preference for living and working in rural areas with long-standing interests in livestock and tree crops. He has an 800 tree carob orchard of 13 varieties and was a foundation member of the Carob Growers Association and Carobs Australia. He is also Chairman and the initiator of the Carob Growers Co-Operative Inc in the Mid-West region of WA around Geraldton. In 2001 he travelled to Europe’s main carob growing and processing areas as a Churchill Fellow.

George Ainsley – Member
George is married with two grown-up daughters and has Master Mariner, Hydrographic Surveying, Marine Auditor and Master Tree Grower qualifications from Australia and the UK. He works in the offshore marine industry around Australia & SE Asia, and on his land near Geraldton WA. George started as an apprentice in 1965 with a British shipping company, going into the oilfields in the early 70’s and rising to Master in 1978; then off to Hydrographic Survey College and work in the offshore survey industry. Subsequent management work has included starting and running Joint Ventures in Jakarta, Brunei, survey offices in WA and Marine Superintendent in Fremantle WA. He was taught office management and marketing in Aberdeen, which put him in good stead for running businesses. George also has considerable experience in tree crops as an add-on to his marine work. In 1992, he purchased land near Albany WA, planted paulownia trees, then grew 7,000 exotic hardwoods and sold the block after 5 year years to buy more land near Geraldton WA. He has a diversified orchard of more than 20,000 neem, carob and sandalwood trees. In 2005, George took the external Melbourne University Master Tree Growers’ course to improve his knowledge of the timber and forestry industries. His company, Ainsley Agroforestry, has extensive trial plantings on a mine site east of Geraldton and is in the process of starting a carob processing business to make gluten free flour, syrup and LBG for domestic and export sales.

Contact Carobs Australia for more details at info@carobsaustralia.com.au