THE Mandarin-speaking former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could take up the bat for the Australian macadamia industry.
In the lead up to Chinese New Year on February 10, Lismore-based MP Janelle Saffin, the Federal Member for Page, urged Mr Rudd to back local growers and inform the Chinese where macadamias come from.
Mr Rudd replied to the tweet agreeing to take the next step and discuss the matter in Canberra.
CEO of Australian Macadamia Society Jolyon Burnett said there is confusion and misunderstanding among the Chinese people because in Mandarin, ‘macadamias’ translates to ‘Hawaiian nuts’.
“In China, Australian macadamias have always been known as Hawaiian nuts, but it’s time we change this,” Mr Burnett said.
“The story of local macadamias began thousands of years ago. Growing naturally in the Australian rainforest, the nuts were regarded by the Aboriginal people as something very special and were often used in ceremonial gifts.”
Between $120 and $130 million worth of home-grown macadamia products are exported each year with Asia being the largest export region, representing 40 per cent of all sales.
“With the help of the government and our leaders, we hope that one day, the world will be able to recognise and appreciate that the world’s finest nut’s home is our country,” Mr Burnett said.