Australia has a levy system that helps our
agricultural industries grow into the future. Australian vegetable growers pay a levy of
half of one percent of the value of their produce at the first point of sale. This levy
is collected by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
It is then provided to Hort Innovation, the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and
development corporation for Australian horticulture, to invest in research and development. Hort Innovation uses this money to support
the vegetable industry through the Vegetable Fund.
The Vegetable Fund facilitates strategic levy investments that have a scope of one to five
years and that will directly benefit growers. For this fund, Hort Innovation uses the strategic
investment plan for the vegetable industry to help guide its investments into priority
areas for the entire sector. Hort Innovation also gets investment advice
from vegetable growers and industry members through investment advisory panels.
Growers can also submit ideas for R&D projects using Hort Innovation’s concept form, found
on the Hort Innovation website. Hort Innovation turns ideas and concepts into
tenders for delivery partners to undertake strategic levy investment projects for the
vegetable industry. These projects are managed and funded by Hort
Innovation using grower levy payments and contributions from the Australian government.
These projects have grower oversight through reference groups and steering committees to
ensure that they meet the industry’s best interests. To make sure the industry receives tangible
benefits from levy-funded research and development, these projects often include extension activities
like workshops and other outputs like fact sheets, magazine articles and research reports.
These strategic levy investments directly
contribute to the ongoing success and productivity of the vegetable industry.
Outside of the Vegetable Fund, the vegetable levy can also be co-invested in the strategic
partnership initiative known as Hort Frontiers. Hort Frontiers projects do not involve levy
dollars, unless an industry chooses to become a co-investor.
Hort Frontiers facilitates collaborative across-horticulture projects involving funding from a range of
co-investors. These projects have a long-term focus and are designed to solve major and
often complex challenges to secure the future of Australian horticulture.
Seven Hort Frontiers funds have been established. Expert panels help to direct strategic projects
for these funds, which are: • The Advanced Production Systems Fund
• The Leadership Fund • The Fruit Fly Fund
• The Asian Markets Fund • The Green Cities Fund
• The Health, Nutrition and Food Safety Fund, and
• The Pollination Fund When this funding reaches full maturity, it
will match strategic co-investment funds from other investors with up to $20 million of
government seed funds every year. Hort Frontiers funds invest in transformational
research, with the benefits spanning across horticulture sectors. Hort Frontiers projects will deliver benefits
for the wider horticulture industry, including the vegetable industry, and help it grow into
the future. If you have any questions about the vegetable
research and development levy, get in touch with Sam Turner at Hort Innovation via e-mail
at [email protected]