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Fund management

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

What is the vegetable levy?

Levy is payable on vegetables 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 vegetables is 0.5 per cent of the gross sale value of the vegetables at the first point of sale.

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 rate, 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.

How are levy investment decisions made?

Investments specific to the Hort Innovation Vegetable 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 vegetable Strategic Investment Plan?

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

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

The vegetable SIP details the industry’s strategic goals centred around four outcome areas: industry supply, productivity and sustainability; demand creation; 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 vegetable industry will work towards achieving the outcomes.

What is the vegetable Annual Investment Plan?

While the vegetable SIP provides an oversight of investment over the next five years, the vegetable 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 industry consultation, and then discussed with the industry SIAP 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 vegetable industry is investing against their SIP outcomes
  • Details on current investments across R&D.

The AIP will be published on this page each year and industry stakeholders will be notified via Hort Innovation’s established communication channels. Download the 2021/22 Vegetable Annual Investment Plan 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 vegetable Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP).

Hort Innovation develops draft investment recommendations based on investment ideas that are aligned to the vegetable 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 vegetable SIAP 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.

The SIAP is 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 SIAP 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 Vegetable Fund are detailed in the Your investments page of this Vegetable 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 vegetable industry communications program (VG18000), also provides regular information on levy-funded activity.

Financial documents

Financial operating statement
July to June 2020/21

SIAP details

Panel meetings and summaries

Meeting

Date

Location

Summary

1 (MVCD)

November 23, 2016

Sydney, NSW

View

2 (FPRUM)

November 22, 2016

Melbourne, VIC

View

3 (FPRUM)

March 15 and 16, 2017

Ipswich, QLD

View

4 (FPRUM)

May 17, 2017

Adelaide, SA

View

5 (CA)

May 17, 2017

Adelaide, SA

View

6 (MVCD)

May 17, 2017

Adelaide, SA

View

7 (CA)

August 22, 2017

Gold Coast, QLD

View

8 (FPRUM)

August 24, 2017

Melbourne, VIC

View

9 (MVCD)

October 23, 2017

Perth, WA

View

10 (FPRUM)

March 1, 2018

Devonport, TAS

View

11 (CA)

April 18, 2018

Sydney, NSW

View

12 (FPRUM)

May 3, 2018

Sydney, NSW

View

13 (MVCD)

May 23, 2018

Sydney, NSW

View

15 (PFRUM)

September 17, 2018

Melbourne, VIC

View

16 (Joint)

November 26, 2019

Teleconference

View

17 (Joint)

December 19, 2019

Melbourne, VIC

View

19 (Joint)

February 6, 2020

Teleconference

View

The panels

Pre-farm gate

Name

Organisation

Location

Bill Bulmer

Bulmer Farms

VIC

Andrew Craigie

Craigie Bros

TAS

Anthony De Ieso

Thorndon Park Produce

SA

Mitchell East

Colignan Producers Company

WA

Edward Fagan

Mulyan

NSW

Zarmeen Hassan

AUSVEG

VIC

Rachel Lancaster

Environmental and Agriculture Testing Services

WA

Ian Layden

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

QLD

Michael Radcliff

Rhebanvale

TAS

Angus Galloway

Simplot Australia

TAS

Sharron Windolf

Windolf Farms

QLD

Bob Granger

Chair

View biography

Post-farm gate

Name

Organisation

Location

Michael Coote

AUSVEG

VIC

Nathan Free

Duralgai Horticultural

VIC

Jason McNeill

Premium Fresh Tasmania

TAS

Andrew Moon

Moonrocks

QLD

Greg Owens

NT Farmers

NT

Shane Quinn

Mulgowie Farming Company

QLD

Scott Samwell

Samwell & Sons

SA

Kingsley Songer

4 Ways Fresh Produce

SA

Lynley Van Lathum

Rugby Farms

QLD

Kees Versteeg

Qualipac

QLD

Bob Granger

Chair

View biography

Fund Annual Report 2020/21
Publication
Fund Annual Report 2020/21
Strategic Investment Plan
Publication
Strategic Investment Plan
SIP – At a glance
Publication
SIP – At a glance