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Fund management

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

What is the banana levy?

The grower-raised statutory banana R&D levy is set at 0.54 cents per kilogram. The marketing levy is set at 1.15 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 Banana 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 banana industry. The new SIP will have a five-year life span (2022–2026) 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 banana 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 banana 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 banana 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 (2022-2026) 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 21 May to 11 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 banana 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 Banana Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Banana 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 Australian banana industry communications program (BA18001) also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.

 

Financial documents

Financial operating statement
July to December 2020/21

Banana Fund consultation

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments for the Hort Innovation Banana 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.

R&D panel meetings and summaries

Meeting

Date

Location

Summary

1

May 11, 2016

Cairns, QLD

View

2

July 27, 2016

Teleconference

View

3

October 31, 2016

Cairns, QLD

View

4

March 10, 2017

South Johnston, QLD

View

5

October 17, 2017

Cairns, QLD

View

6

March 22, 2018

Teleconference

View

7

July 19, 2018

South Johnston

 

8

September 28, 2018

Teleconference

 

9

September 28, 2018

Teleconference

 

10

December 18, 2018

Cairns, QLD

 

11

May 5, 2019

Brisbane, QLD

View

The R&D panel 

Name

Organisation

Location

Leon Collins Australian Banana Growers Council QLD
Ben Franklin Costa Group QLD
Cameron Mackay Mackay's Banana QLD
Mark Nucifora Nucifora Bananas QLD
Rosie Godwin Australian Banana Growers Council QLD
Shane Zonta Zonta Bananas QLD
Stewart Lindsay QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries QLD
Andre Drenth The University of Queensland QLD
Stephen Spear S.N. Spear NSW

Strategic marketing panel meetings and summaries

Meeting

Date

Location

Summary

1

May 6, 2016

Brisbane, QLD

View

2

June 30, 2016

Teleconference

View

3

November 1, 2016

Cairns, QLD

View

4

November 7, 2016

Teleconference

View

5

March 24, 2017

Cairns, QLD

View

6

June 28, 2017

Teleconference

View

7

October 31, 2017

Cairns, QLD

View

8

March 1, 2018

Cairns, QLD

View

9

April 27, 2018

Cairns, QLD

View

10

August 6, 2018

Cairns, QLD

 

11

August 6, 2018

Cairns, QLD

 

12

November 2, 2018

Sydney, NSW

 

13

May 3, 2019

Cairns, QLD

View

The strategic marketing panel 

Name

Organisation

Location

Dirana Mangili Sweeter Banana Co-Operative  WA
Jim Pekin Australian Banana Growers Council QLD
Paul Inderbitzin Kureen Farming QLD
Andrew Serra Serra Farming QLD
Chaise Pensini Pacific Coast Eco Bananas QLD
Gary Fattore Costa Group NSW
Peter Molenaar P&A Molenaar NSW
Daniel Mackay Mackay's Marketing QLD
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