AUSTRALIA is shouldering the load when it comes to the international promotion of macadamia nuts.
That may seem a little unfair considering Australia produces just a quarter of the world's macadamias.
Industry market development manager, Lynne Ziehlke, told a meeting of Bundaberg growers and stakeholders recently that Australia was trying to get other macadamia-producing countries on-board to "share the love".
"Australia owns macadamia marketing," Ms Ziehlke said.
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She said it would be good to see the other nations such as South Africa, America and China follow Australia's lead in pushing the nut, as it would lift the global profile overall, to everyone's benefit.
Ms Ziehlke said recent meetings with other nations through the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council had been productive with signs of more willingness to engage with promotional activity.
The marketing mantra adopted by the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) is to drive demand ahead of supply.
Part of that is to maintain the macadamia's image as a premium product which adds value to a food brand that associates with it.
As it has done for the while now, the AMS is targeting food processors, both locally and internationally, in order to lift demand through items such as ice cream, snacks and bakery goods.
In 2017, the AMS launched the Australian Macadamias Innovation Challenge which invited food technology makers and students to submit recipes which used the nut in innovative ways.
The second challenge last year built on the success of the first, with the competition being opened up to residents of Japan and China.
The finalists of the competition have been announced with winners to come within a few weeks.
Part of marketing to international consumers, particularly in Asians nations, includes providing details on the farming practices.
Ms Zhielke said sustainability was an important driver of interest and macadamia growers were at the forefront of the trend through their environmentally-aware orchard management practices.
"It's not about being perfect, it's about progress," she said.
A worldwide lift in consumption of tree nuts in general is also seeing competition from the major commodities such as almonds, cashews and walnuts.
"We are not on our own," Ms Zhielke said.
"Even if we double our production, we are not in any risk of overtaking almonds, for example."
China has become the fourth largest producer of macadamia nuts, although verifying the exact production figures is difficult.
Ms Zhielke said at world nut conference last year, three different Chinese presenters gave three different production figures.
The story Oz doing heavy lifting on global macadamia marketing first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.