1.11.11 Eamon Sullivan backs up growers as they strive for gold

1.11.11 Eamon Sullivan backs up growers as they strive for gold

Australian swimming sensation and culinary king, Eamon Sullivan, is lending his support to macadamia growers by becoming the face of The World’s Finest Nut for the second year in a row.

The two-time Olympian with three medals under his belt will be cheering on our farmers from plantations across subtropical New South Wales and Queensland as they prepare for hopefully one of the biggest crops since 2006.

As an elite athlete who loves to cook, Eamon knows the importance of food that is healthy, convenient, and Australian-owned and grown and is keen to encourage Aussies young and old to snack on our famous native nut while there’s plenty available.

“I enjoy a handful of macadamias everyday because they have so much going for them,” he said. “They’re rich in fibre, contain plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fatty acids, antioxidants like manganese and best of all, they taste great!”

For those looking to increase consumption, macadamias make the perfect addition to a whole host of recipes. “The crisp texture, delicate buttery flavour and versatility make Australian macadamias a fantastic cooking ingredient,” he said. “I love including them in my favourite dishes and they’re great for dressing up a summer salad, as a crunchy surprise to most desserts or as a pesto or marinade.”

Jolyon Burnett, CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society said the industry is thrilled to have Eamon on board again this year. “It’s fantastic to have the support of a fine Aussie athlete like Eamon Sullivan and it’s exciting to see him backing up our growers who work hard to produce the highest quality macadamia nuts in the world.”

Australia already leads the world in research and development, farming practices and commitment to clean, green production from seedling to serving, producing more than 30% of the world’s crop.

“Australian macadamias are grown in the rich soil and high rainfall coastal areas that are still home to the original native species. On top of this, Australian farms and processors have high production standards, with a demonstrated capacity to produce superior kernel, and the industry is committed to a sustainable future both on farms and in our local communities,” Mr Burnett said.

Macadamias are the only native Australian plant that has been developed and traded internationally as a commercial food product. From reasonably humble beginnings as a cottage industry in the 1970’s, Australia has now taken firm leadership of world production, research, marketing and development, and is the largest producer and exporter, delivering macadamias to more than 40 countries worldwide.

There is a strong financial commitment to domestic and export market development and farm research funded by a grower levy on production. The industry spends approximately $4 million annually on research and development and marketing.

Macadamias are grown along the eastern seaboard of New South Wales and Queensland, from Nambucca Heads in the south through to Mackay in the north. About 60% of the Australian crop is produced in the NSW Northern Rivers district.

There are approximately 850 macadamia growers in Australia, producing around 35,500 tonnes in 2010 with an export value of around $120-130 million per annum.