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Growers Pistachio Fund Fund management

Fund management

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

What is the voluntary pistachio levy?

The voluntary pistachio R&D levy was established for investment through the pistachio collective industry fund (CIF), now known as the Hort Innovation Pistachio Fund. It is currently set at 0.02 cents per kilogram.

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.

How are levy investment decisions made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Pistachio 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 pistachio Strategic Investment Plan?

The pistachio SIP 2022-2026 is the roadmap that helps guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of the pistachio investment program. The SIP lays the foundation for decision-making in levy investments and represents the balanced interests of the pistachio industry. The most important function of the SIP is to make sure that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.

In 2021, the pistachio SIP was refreshed to reflect the current needs of the pistachio industry. The refresh involved close consultation with growers, industry participants and the wider research community.

The pistachio 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 pistachio industry will work towards achieving the outcomes.

What is the pistachio Annual Investment Plan?

While the pistachio SIP provides an oversight of investment over the next five years, the pistachio 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 pistachio industry is investing against its SIP outcomes
  • Details on current investments across R&D.

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, Hort Innovation consults with growers through the pistachio industry R&D committee.

Hort Innovation develops draft investment recommendations based on investment ideas that are aligned to the pistachio 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 pistachio industry R&D committee provides advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments, guided by the industry’s SIP. The committee 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.

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 Pistachio Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Pistachio 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 Supporting the adoption of best management practices for pistachio growers through on-farm demonstrations and regional discussion groups (PS20000), also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.

Annual Investment Plan

The documents below make up the pistachio AIP 2023/24 and explain how investments will be prioritised over the 12-month period. It provides details on funding availability, how the pistachio industry is investing against its SIP outcomes, and details on current R&D [and marketing] investments.

Annual Investment Plan
R&D contracted projects
R&D investment summary – 2022/23 to 2026/27
R&D 5-year forecast
Fund actuals at 2022/23 and forecast to 2026/27

Advisory panel details




Chris Joyce

Australian Pioneer Pistachio Company


Chris Lee

C E Lee and Company


Ian Mau

Mallee Orchards


Andrew Bowring

Kyalite Orchards


Dr Prue McMichael

Vinehealth Australia   


Tim Beard 

Industry representative


Ross Skinner 

Almond industry representative


Ryan Norton

CMV Farms


Tristan Marriette

Duxton Associate  


2022/23 Fund Annual Report
2022/23 Fund Annual Report
Strategic Investment Plan
Strategic Investment Plan
SIP - At a glance
SIP - At a glance
Annual Investment Plan 2023/24
Annual Investment Plan 2023/24