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Fund management

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

What is the voluntary blueberry levy?

The voluntary blueberry R&D levy was established for investment through the blueberry collective industry fund (CIF), which is known as the Hort Innovation Blueberry Fund. It is currently set at 2.2 cents per kilogram, with a minimum annual contribution for industry of $275,000 per year.

It is Hort Innovation’s responsibility to work with the industry to invest this voluntary levy, together with Australian Government funds, into strategic R&D initiatives.

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 will voluntary levy decisions be made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Blueberry Fund are guided by the industry’s SIP. In 2021 a new SIP is being produced for each levy-paying industry. The new SIP will have a five-year life span (FY 2021/22 -FY 2025/26) and is being developed through close consultation with growers, industry participants and the research community. It will outline key industry priorities for investment.

When the new SIP is finalised, an Annual Investment Plan (AIP) will be developed and reviewed annually for the remaining years of the SIP – this will be approved by Hort Innovation with valuable input from the Strategic Investment Advisory Panels (SIAPs), industry bodies and key stakeholders before prioritisation. 

The SIP and AIP documents will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the Almond SIAP, which is made up of growers and other industry representatives and plays a key role in prioritising necessary investments.

Using the SIP as a guide, the SIAP will prioritise AIP investments and ideas submitted by growers, industry participants and delivery partners during prioritisation meetings. Details of the SIAP panelists and the current AIP can be found further down this page. 

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?

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

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

Financial documents

Financial operating statement
CIF Summary – July to June 2019/20

Blueberry Fund consultation

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

The panel




Rachel Mackenzie

Australian Blueberry Growers Association Incorporated


Greg Murdoch

Costa Group


Melinda Simpson

NSW DPI IDO Blueberries


Nicholas Miall

Perfection Fresh Australia


Tyler Scofield

Driscoll's Australia


Kamaldeep Singh Clair

Mountain Blue Farms


Alison Kelly


View biography

Fund Annual Report 2019/20
Fund Annual Report 2019/20