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Fund management

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

What is the avocado levy?

The grower-raised statutory avocado R&D levy is set at 2.9 cents per kilogram. The marketing levy is set at 4.5 cents per kilogram.

These levies are 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 levies – together with Australian Government funds in the case of R&D – into strategic R&D and marketing initiatives.

You can find full details on the levy rates, 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.

Where do investment ideas come from?

Great investments start with great ideas, so Hort Innovation encourages all growers, industry participants and the research community to share their thoughts and recommendations through the upcoming Strategic Investment  Plan (SIP) consultation process. During the year, issues may emerge that haven’t been captured from the extensive SIP development process so there will still be opportunities to submit ideas for investments.

These opportunities are:

Any submission or suggestion will be reviewed by Hort Innovation to ensure it aligns with industry needs as identified in the SIP. 

How are levy investment decisions made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund are guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) and Annual Investment Plan (AIP). 

The SIP is being updated in 2021 to better reflect the needs of the avocado industry. The new SIP will have a five-year life span (2021/22 – 2025/26) and is currently being developed through close consultation with growers, industry participants, and the research community.

The AIP was developed with valuable input from the Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which is made up of growers and other industry representatives as well as industry bodies and other key stakeholders.

The SIP and AIP documents are used as a ‘roadmap’ by the avocado SIAP and play a key role in prioritising investments and ideas submitted by growers and other industry participants.

Further details about the AIP, SIP and SIAP can be found below.

Strategic Investment Plan

The avocado Strategic Investment Plan is the roadmap that helps guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of individual levy industry investment programs. The SIP lays the foundation for decision making in levy investments and represents the balanced interest of the particular industry from which the levy is collected. The most important function of the SIP is to make sure that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.

Refreshing of the current Strategic Investment Plan

The current avocado Strategic Investment Plan spans from 2017 to 2021 and has guided investment decisions over that period.

In 2021, Hort Innovation is continuing to engage with growers and industry stakeholders to develop a refreshed five-year SIP (2022-2016) for each levy-paying industry within the horticulture sector. Following this engagement period, the draft SIPs will be available on the SIP refresh page for broad industry feedback and validation for two weeks, from 31 May to 4 June, 2021.

Each industry-specific SIP will lay the foundation for decision making in levy investments, representing a balanced view of stakeholders from within the industry, helping Hort Innovation prioritise and implement relevant R&D and marketing programs.

The finalised SIPs will be available on the Hort Innovation website from July 2021.

Annual Investment Plan

The avocado Annual Investment Plan details how levy-funds will be spent over a 12-month period. Investment decisions will be guided by the industry SIP and prioritised based on potential industry impact, as well as availability of levy funds.  

The AIP was developed by Hort Innovation, informed by the SIP and industry consultation, and then discussed with the industry SIAP for feedback and prioritisation.  

Strategic Investment Advisory Panel

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments in R&D, marketing and trade, Hort Innovation consults with growers through industry-specific Strategic Investment Advisory Panel.

The SIAP consists of industry supply-chain stakeholders, most of whom are levy-paying growers. Panels also include industry representative body representation and, where applicable, a lead agency representative from within the National Horticulture Research Network.

The industry-specific SIAP is in place to discuss investment ideas, in order to provide advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments. The advice they give is guided by the industry's SIP.

The SIAP provides a vital link between meeting the priorities of industry and helping Hort Innovation to make decisions on how, where and when investments need to be made.

What happens next?

The SIAPs recommendations will be 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, in the delivery partners section of this website.

At the end of the process, the responses are assessed, often with the assistance of industry (Evaluation Panel process), 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 Avocado Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Avocado 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 National avocado industry communications program (AV18003), also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.

 

Financial documents

Financial operating statement
July to December 2020/21

Avocado Fund consultation

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments for the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund, we will widely consult with growers, industry participants and the research community through the SIP consultation process.

See below a list of SIAP meetings with summaries and the panelists.

Panel meetings and summaries

Meeting

Date

Location

Summary

1

October 20, 2016

Brisbane, QLD

View

2

December 12, 2016

Brisbane, QLD

View

3

February 21, 2017

Brisbane, QLD

View

4

July 31, 2017

Brisbane, QLD

View

5

April 9, 2018

Brisbane, QLD

View

The R&D panel

Name

Organisation

Location

John Tyas Avocados Australia QLD
Clayton Lynch Mackay's Marketing QLD
Dudley Mitchell Avonova Farms WA
Kylie Collins Blushing Acres QLD
Xhemal James Kochi Tinaroo Falls Avoacdo QLD
Simon Newett QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries QLD
Stewart Ipsen West Pemberton Avocados WA

The strategic marketing panel

Name

Organisation

Location

Richard Clayton Mackay's Marketing NSW
Daryl Boardman Sunnspot Farm QLD
Jennifer Franceschi Avoacdo Export Company WA
Cormac te Kloot Costa Group QLD
Ian Tolson I & A Tolson NSW
JohnTyas Avocados Australia QLD
Petrena Welch Australian Mango Industry Association QLD
Russell Delroy Delroy Orchards WA
Fund Annual Report 2019/20
Publication
Fund Annual Report 2019/20
Strategic Investment Plan
Publication
Strategic Investment Plan
SIP – At a glance
Publication
SIP – At a glance
Annual Investment Plan
Publication
Annual Investment Plan