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Historical document

Coordinated knowledge and industry development program for the vegetable industry (VG12071)

Key research provider: AUSVEG Ltd
Publication date: 2016

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The National Vegetable Levy funds valuable research and development projects which aim to deliver tangible benefits to Australian vegetable growers and their business operations, with levy funds invested in work to protect biosecurity, improve soil health, and further a wide range of other initiatives.

Modern vegetable farming is more than just growing vegetable crops – it involves business management skills and an active engagement with R&D in order to remain competitive in an ever-changing market. The Coordinated Knowledge and Industry Development Program (“CKAIDP”) was created and managed by AUSVEG, and overseen by Horticulture Australia Limited (“HAL”)/Horticulture Innovation Australia (“HIA”) to develop the industry by ensuring that the results of levy-funded R&D were communicated comprehensively to growers.

Over the three-year life of the project, the CKAIDP provided a consolidated channel of regular analysis and communications for vegetable growers. It targeted activities to promote increased use of the vegetable industry Knowledge Management System, known as InfoVeg; it improved the usability of InfoVeg and added new features, including a mobile/tablet compatible version of the database and an improved process for uploading R&D outputs to InfoVeg; and it provided ongoing briefings to agronomists and service providers about InfoVeg.

The project also used a range of communication channels to promote greater adoption of R&D to levy payers, including through providing ongoing communications support for the Consumers and Markets Program for the Vegetable Industry and by delivering enhanced economics coverage and analysis for the vegetable industry.

Importantly, the CKAIDP was also responsible for the continued maintenance and refinement of InfoVeg, which made levy-funded R&D projects (including final reports, fact-sheets, and technical papers) available to growers.

The information produced through the CKAIDP covered industry economics, consumer and market trends, and the latest R&D outputs from vegetable levy-funded projects.

Communications outputs included:

  • 12 quarterly R&D e-newsletters, showcasing and summarising the results of vegetable levy-funded R&D;
  • 12 info-sheets communicating R&D outputs in a concise, eye-catching format;
  • 18 articles in Vegetables Australia by the AUSVEG Economist, communicating economic analysis in the most widely circulated magazine in Australian horticulture;
  • 6 discussion papers written by the AUSVEG Economist, providing in-depth analysis of economic trends and issues of concern to vegetable growers;
  • 89 media releases disseminating consumer research, economic analysis and other industry development related R&D outputs;
  • 5 episodes of the InfoVeg Radio podcast, interviewing researchers and academics about industry R&D;
  • 9 briefings to leading suppliers and service providers in the Australian vegetable supply chain about the InfoVeg database; and
  • 3 annual surveys conducted by AUSVEG to evaluate and obtain feedback about the program.

Throughout the CKAIDP, AUSVEG communicated the results of levy-funded R&D to growers and ensured that the benefits of levy investment continued to reach Australia’s levy payers. It was recommended that to capitalise on the work performed by the CKAIDP and to ensure that the value of InfoVeg and the project’s other outputs were not wasted, future industry development projects should build on the foundation laid by the CKAIDP, including by continuing the AUSVEG Economist’s function, maintaining the R&D focus of the project’s communications outputs, and upgrading the platforms provided to growers to access R&D online. 

Related levy funds

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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited).

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2016. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).