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Fund management

At Hort Innovation it’s our job to work with industry to invest the almond levy and Australian Government contributions into initiatives to help growers be as productive and profitable as possible, through the Hort Innovation Almond Fund

What is the almond levy?

The grower-raised statutory almond R&D levy is set at 1.5 cents per kilogram for Nonpareil almonds in shell, 1 cent per kilogram for other varieties in shell, and 2 cents per kilogram for shelled almonds.

This levy is collected by the Australian Government and then entrusted to Hort Innovation. It is then Hort Innovation’s responsibility to work with industry to invest the levy together with Australian Government funds into strategic R&D initiatives.

You can find full details on the levy rate, plus information on how to lodge a return and make a payment with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, on the government website here.

In June 2018, the almond industry also established a collective industry fund (CIF) and a related voluntary levy, for additional investment into major strategic programs. This voluntary levy is separate to the statutory levy and is not set or collected by the government – however, like the statutory levy it is invested through the Hort Innovation Almond Fund, together with Australian Government contributions.

Where do investment ideas come from?

Great investments start with great ideas, and Hort Innovation encourages all growers and other industry participants to share their thoughts and suggestions for the work they want to see.

Ideas can be submitted any time via Hort Innovation’s investment idea form.

How are levy decisions made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Almond Fund are guided by the fund’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP). The SIP was developed through close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders, and outlines key industry priorities for investment.

The SIP document is used like a ‘roadmap’ by the almond Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which is a panel made up of growers and other industry representatives that has a key role to play in the investment process.

The SIAP discusses investment ideas at consultation meetings, with the SIP guiding them, in order to provide advice to Hort Innovation on potential statutory and voluntary levy investments. Details of the SIAP panellists and summaries of the SIAP’s meetings can be found further down this page.

What happens next?

The SIAP’s advice is used by Hort Innovation to work suitable ideas into project proposals. The proposals are then made public for potential delivery partners to submit responses. Current opportunities are always listed on the Partnership opportunities page, in the delivery partners section of this website.

At the end of the process the responses are assessed, often with the assistance of industry, and the best delivery partner for the work is chosen. A contract is then issued and the work begins.

How can I keep track of investments?

Investments in the Hort Innovation Almond Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Almond Fund section of Hort Innovation’s website. Resources that are produced by the projects – such as fact sheets and guides – are also available through the Research reports and more page.

Hort Innovation also sends alerts about project updates to its members. Paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a Hort Innovation member, but signing up is free here.

The levy-funded communications program, run through the investment Almond industry communications program (AL18001), also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.


Financial documents

Financial Operating Statement
Levy Summary – July to December 2019/20
Financial operating statement
CIF Summary – July to December 2019/20

Almond Fund consultation

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments for the Hort Innovation Almond Fund, we consult with growers through the fund's Strategic Investment Advisory Panel

The Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) has two main objectives: to give transparent and robust investment advice; and to ensure investments align to industry priorities by aligning investments to the fund's Strategic Investment Plan. 

See below the SIAP meetings with summaries and the panellists.


Panel meetings and summaries






June 14, 2016

Mildura, VIC



February 2, 2017

Glenelg, SA



March 22, 2017

Loxton, SA



August 9, 2017

Loxton, SA



January 12, 2018




March 14, 2018

Mildura, VIC



March 13, 2019

Mildura, VIC



August 21, 2019

Mildura, VIC


The panel




Brendan Sidhu

Century Orchards


Paul Martin

Century Orchards


Domenic Cavallaro

Cavallaro Angle Vale Almond Trust


Craig Simes

EE Muir & Sons


Toby Smith



Ben Brown

Select Harvest


Ross Skinner

Almond Board of Australia


Troy Richman

Almas Almonds


Thomas Dobbin

Almondco Australia Limited


Claude Gauchat


View biography

Fund Annual Report 2018/19
Fund Annual Report 2018/19
Strategic Investment Plan
Strategic Investment Plan
SIP – At a glance
SIP – At a glance