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, 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 will voluntary levy decisions be made?
Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Blueberry Fund are to be guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP).
The blueberry industry has developed its own SIP, and this document will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the blueberry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP). The SIAP is a panel a made up of growers and other industry representatives that has a key role to play in the investment process.
At the time of writing, Hort Innovation was working with industry on the formation of the SIAP. When established, the SIAP will discuss investment ideas at consultation meetings, with the SIP guiding them, in order to provide advice to Hort Innovation on potential voluntary levy investments.
What will happen next?
The SIAP’s advice will be used by Hort Innovation to work suitable ideas into project proposals. The proposals will then made public for potential delivery partners to submit responses. Current opportunities will always be listed on the Partnership opportunities page, in the delivery partners section of this website.
At the end of the process, the responses will be assessed, typically with the assistance of industry, and the best delivery partner for the work will be chosen. A contract will then be issued and the work will begin.
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.