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Fund management

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

What is the summerfruit levy?

The grower-raised statutory summerfruit R&D levy is set at 0.539 cents per kilogram.

The marketing levy is set at 0.441 cents per kilogram.

These levies are 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 and marketing 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.

Where do investment ideas come from?

Great investments start with great ideas, so Hort Innovation encourages all growers, industry participants and the research community to share their thoughts and recommendations through the upcoming Strategic Investment  Plan (SIP) consultation process. During the year, issues may emerge that haven’t been captured from the extensive SIP development process so there will still be opportunities to submit ideas for investments.

These opportunities are:

Any submission or suggestion will be reviewed by Hort Innovation to ensure it aligns with industry needs as identified in the SIP. 

How are levy decisions made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Summerfruit Fund are guided by the industry’s SIP. In 2021 a new SIP is being produced for each levy-paying industry. The new SIP will have a five-year life span (FY 2021/22 -FY 2025/26) and is being developed through close consultation with growers, industry participants and the research community. It will outline key industry priorities for investment.

When the new SIP is finalised, an Annual Investment Plan (AIP) will be developed and reviewed annually for the remaining years of the SIP – this will be approved by Hort Innovation with valuable input from the Strategic Investment Advisory Panels (SIAPs), industry bodies and key stakeholders before prioritisation. 

The SIP and AIP documents will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the Almond SIAP, which is made up of growers and other industry representatives and plays a key role in prioritising necessary investments.

Using the SIP as a guide, the SIAP will prioritise AIP investments and ideas submitted by growers, industry participants and delivery partners during prioritisation meetings. Details of the SIAP panelists and the current AIP can be found further down this page. 

What happens next?

The SIAPs recommendations will be used by Hort Innovation to work suitable ideas into project proposals. The proposals are then made public for potential delivery partners to submit responses. Current opportunities are always listed on the Partnership opportunities, in the delivery partners section of this website.

At the end of the process, the responses are assessed, often with the assistance of industry (Evaluation Panel process), and the best delivery partner for the work is chosen. A contract is then issued, and the work begins.

How can I keep track of investments?

Investments in the Hort Innovation Summerfruit Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Summerfruit 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.


Financial documents

Financial operating statement
July to June 2019/20

Summerfruit Fund consultation

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments for the Hort Innovation Summerfruit Fund, we will widely consult with growers, industry participants and the research community through the SIP consultation process.

See below a list of SIAP meetings with summaries and the panelists.

Panel meetings and summaries






August 5, 2016

Melbourne, VIC



February 14, 2017




May 17, 2017

Adelaide, SA



June 21, 2018

Brisbane, QLD



July 11, 2019

Sydney, NSW



July 21, 2020



The panel 




Andrew Finlay

Pikes Creek Orchard


Ian McAlister

Sunfruit Orchards


Kelvin Free

Duralgai Horticultural


Michael Batinich

E.B Batinich & Co


Michael Trautwein

Zest Fruit


Mark O’Connell

Agriculture Victoria


Adrian Conti

Conti Orchards


Gaethan Cutri

Cutri Fruit


Colleen Dangerfield

VFS Exports


Fund Annual Report 2019/20
Fund Annual Report 2019/20
Strategic Investment Plan
Strategic Investment Plan
SIP – At a glance
SIP – At a glance