The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS), which represents over 790 Australian macadamia growers and processors, is planning an awareness campaign to raise the profile and increase sales of macadamias in the UK.

The Australian macadamia industry has undertaken a large planting programme and as these trees come into production over the next seven years, crop tonnages are expected to double.

Philip Montgomery, marketing director of the AMS, said: "The UK awareness campaign will include extensive consumer sampling, a trade and consumer public relations campaign, and a programme to encourage increased usage of the nut in food manufacture.

"The AMS programme will also educate consumers on the nut’s Australian origins."

The UK campaign follows significant investment in the promotion and development of Australian macadamias in other European countries, which has lead to encouraging sales increases.

The Australian macadamia industry recorded its highest ever production in 2004 (42,900 tonnes) and industry estimates suggest that the 2006 calendar year crop will be 40,000 tonnes of nuts in shell - enough to produce 11,500 tonnes of edible kernels.

There are currently some eight million trees planted, of which some 4.1 million are mature.

Montgomery added: "Acclaimed as the ’queen of nuts’, macadamias are Australia’s only indigenous, commercially grown food crop. They have a buttery taste giving recipes a luxury, creamy quality."