Growers take to skies to show we don't know our nuts

MACADAMIA growers have taken to the sky with a message for Aussies unaware that Australia is the birthplace of the delectable nut.

A Newspoll survey of more than 1200 Australians showed only half could identify the delicious nut as native produce with a third (32 per cent) claiming they came from Brazil while others said they came from Hawaii or South Africa (16 per cent each).

The research also revealed respondents had very little knowledge and understanding of macadamia farming with only 25 per cent correctly saying harvest begins at the start of autumn.

A quarter of survey participants (26 per cent) wrongly named the Northern Territory as a key growing area, 14 per cent South Australia and 13 per cent Victoria.

To get locals loving and appreciating the only Australian crop that has ever been developed and traded internationally as a commercial food product, growers sent a clear message over the Parliament House in Canberra with onlookers tweeting and posting the skywriting online to help spread the word.

Jolyon Burnett, CEO of Australian Macadamia Society, the industry body for growers, said they're keen for Aussies to know and be proud of the fact that macadamias were born in Australia and our national day is the perfect time to embrace the local produce that makes this country so special.

"The story of macadamias began thousand of years ago.

Growing naturally in the rainforest, they were regarded by the Aboriginal people as something very special and were often used in ceremonial gifts.

Today, they are one of Australia's favourite nuts and the number one choice at special gatherings with family and friends," he said.

Macadamias are predominantly grown in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and up the Queensland coast, with much smaller plantings in Western Australia producing some 40,000 tonnes each year.

Australia is the world leader in production, research, marketing and development, and is the largest producer and exporter, delivering macadamias to more than 40 countries worldwide.

Between $120 and $130 million worth of Australian macadamia products are exported each.

A recent poll showed many Australians think macadamia nuts are from other countries.
A recent poll showed many Australians think macadamia nuts are from other countries.