This article was produced as part of the Hort Innovation Onion Fund project Australian onion industry communications program (VN18003).
What is the onion levy and who manages it?
The onion levy is payable on onions that are produced in Australia and either sold by the producer or used by the producer in the production of other goods. The levy rate on onions is $4.00 per tonne, which includes $1 per tonne for the Marketing component, $0.10 per tonne for the Plant Health Australia (PHA) component and $2.90 per tonne for R&D.
It is collected by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, which is also responsible for administration and disbursement of levies on behalf of agricultural industries. In 2017/18 total onion R&D levy receipts collected were $933,269.
The investment of R&D funds is managed by Hort Innovation. Here, onion levy funds are invested into industry-specific research programs alongside financial contributions from the Australian Government, through the Hort Innovation Onion Fund.
How are levy decisions made?
Ideas can be submitted at any time via Hort Innovation’s Concept Proposal Form accessed here.
Investments specific to the Onion Fund are guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP). The SIP outlines key industry priorities for investment and can be found on the Hort Innovation Onion Fund page here.
The SIP document is used like a roadmap by the onion Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which is made up of growers and other industry representatives. The SIAP panel discuss these investment ideas at consultation meetings, with the SIP guiding them, in order to provide advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
What happens next?
Hort Innovation use the SIAP’s advice to work suitable ideas into project proposals. The proposals are then made public for potential delivery partners to submit responses. At the end of the process the best delivery partner for the work is chosen, a contract is issued and the work begins.
How can you keep track of investments?
Details and updates of ongoing and completed investment projects, as well as any outputs and resources to help your business grow, can be found on the Hort Innovation Onion Fund page here.