What is the apple and pear levy?
Levy is payable on apples and pears that are produced in Australia and either sold by the producer or used by the producer in the production of other goods.
The R&D levy rate on apples and pears is set at the below rates:
- 0.72 cents per kilogram for domestic and export apples
- 65 cents per tonne for juicing apples
- $1.30 per tonne for processing apples
- 0.775 cents per kilogram for domestic and export pears
- 60 cents per tonne for juicing pears
- $1.20 per tonne for processing pears.
The marketing levy for apples and pears is set at the below rates:
- 1.03 cents per kilogram for domestic and export apples
- $2.00 per tonne for juicing apples
- $4.00 per tonne for processing apples
- 1.249 cents per kilogram for domestic and export pears
- $2.25 per tonne for juicing pears
- $4.50 per tonne for processing pears.
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 levies – together with Australian Government funds in the case of R&D – into strategic R&D 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 for apples, and here for pears.
How are levy investment decisions made?
Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund are guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) and Annual Investment Plan (AIP). SIPs provide an overarching roadmap for industry to follow, and AIPs detail how levy dollars will be spent each year to achieve industry goals.
To learn more about how Hort Innovation makes investment decisions, watch the video below or scroll down for more information.
What is the apple and pear Strategic Investment Plan?
The apple and pear SIP 2022-2026 is the roadmap that helps guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of the apple and pear investment program. The SIP lays the foundation for decision-making in levy investments and represents the balanced interests of the apple and pear industry. The most important function of the SIP is to make sure that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.
In 2021, the apple and pear SIP was refreshed to reflect the current needs of the apple and pear industry. The refresh involved close consultation with growers, industry participants and the wider research community.
The apple and pear SIP details the industry’s strategic goals centred around four outcome areas: demand creation; industry supply, productivity and sustainability; extension and capability; and business insights. Under each of those outcomes, there are industry-specific strategies and key performance indicators that provide guidance on how the apple and pear industry will work towards achieving the outcomes.
For the previous apple and pear SIP, a performance report has been developed to demonstrate how investments delivered in the Apple and Pear Fund from 2016/17 to 2020/21 generated impact for apple and pear growers. The report provides an overview of key achievements delivered through each levy investment, and how they relate to the industry’s SIP outcomes and strategies.
While this performance report provides a five-year review of the apple and pear SIP 2017-2021, going forward an annual performance report will be provided for the apple and pear SIP 2022-2026.
What is the apple and pear Annual Investment Plan?
While the apple and pear SIP provides an oversight of investment over the next five years, theapple and pear Annual Investment Plan (AIP) explains how levy funds are going to be invested over a twelve-month period.
AIPs are developed each year by Hort Innovation, informed by the SIP and then discussed with the industry consultation panels for feedback and prioritisation. 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 provides detailed information on:
- Funding availability
- How the apple and pear industry is investing against its SIP outcomes
- Details on current investments across R&D and marketing.
The AIP will be published on this page each year and industry stakeholders will be notified via Hort Innovation’s established communication channels.
The AIP is published each year and can be seen on this page here.
Where do investment ideas come from?
There are many avenues that investment ideas come through – such as growers, delivery partners, previous projects, research networks, industry bodies, regional extension plans, and extension personnel. Before any ideas are progressed, Hort Innovation will investigate whether investment aligns with the SIP and whether investment is needed in this area.
Growers are invited to submit their ideas any time at Hort Innovation’s investment idea form or by contacting a Hort Innovation employee directly. Industry participants and delivery partners can contact a Hort Innovation employee directly if they have an idea outside of the SIP consultation process.
Any submission or suggestion will be reviewed by Hort Innovation to ensure it aligns with industry needs as identified in the SIP.
How are investments prioritised?
To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments in R&D, Hort Innovation consults with growers through the apple and pear advisory panels, which 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.
For marketing, a dedicated Strategic Marketing Panel (SMP) was established to drive demand for Australian apples and pears, in both domestic and international markets, through effective and efficient marketing. The role of the SMP is to guide the development and implementation of a mid to long-term marketing strategy and annual plan that delivers growth in domestic apple and pear consumption, and growth in fresh apple and pear exports.
Hort Innovation develops draft investment recommendations based on investment ideas that are aligned to the apple and pear SIP. Each recommendation includes high-level information on the aims of the project, outcomes, deliverables and budget.
The recommendations are then taken to the relevant advisory panel for feedback and prioritisation based on potential impact and available funding. Details of projects that will be progressing are then featured in the AIP.
The two panels are 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 panels provide 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.
How are investments progressed?
After the investment has been prioritised, it’s then up to Hort Innovation to get the project up and running. This involves a tender process where the best delivery partner is chosen to undertake the project. Each delivery partner needs to submit regular milestones that report on their progress and at the end of each investment, a final report is produced that is made available to industry on what the project has achieved.
How to keep track of investments
Investments in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Apple and Pear 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 apple and pear industry communications program (AP18000), also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.
The documents below make up the apple and pear AIP 2023/24 and explain how investments will be prioritised over the 12-month period. It provides details on funding availability, how the industry is investing against its SIP outcomes, and details on current R&D and marketing investments.
Advisory panel details
Jenny Van de Meeberg
Nutrien Ag Solution
B Martella & Sons