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How we consult with industry

Hort Innovation makes all investment decisions through consultation with industry, to achieve the best outcomes for Australian horticulture

Investments under specific Hort Innovation Funds are guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) and Annual Investment Plan (AIP). Strategic Investment Plans provide an overarching roadmap for industry to follow, and Annual Investment Plans 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.



Strategic Investment Plans

The 2022-2026 Strategic Investment Plans are the roadmaps that guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of individual levy industry investment programs. The SIPs lay the foundation for decision-making in levy investments and represent the balanced interests of the particular industry from which the levy is collected. The most important function of the SIPs is to make sure that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.

In 2021, the SIPs were refreshed to reflect the current needs of Hort Innovation’s levied horticulture industries. The refresh involved close consultation with growers, industry participants and the wider research community.

Each Strategic Investment Plan 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 industry will work towards achieving the outcomes.

Annual Investment Plans

While SIPs provide an overarching view of investment over the next five years, Annual Investment Plans (or AIPs) explain 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 Annual Investment Plans provide detailed information on:

  • Funding availability for each industry
  • How each industry is investing against their SIP outcomes
  • Details on current investments across R&D and marketing

How are investments prioritised?

To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments in R&D, marketing and trade, Hort Innovation consults with growers through industry-specific Strategic Investment Advisory Panels.

Hort Innovation develops draft investment recommendations based on investment ideas that are aligned to the Strategic Investment Plan. 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 Annual Investment Plan.

The 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 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.

Strategic co-investment consultation

For investments made through our Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative, an advisory mechanism similar to the SIAPs is in place. Here, Expert Advisory Panels (EAPs) work with Hort Innovation to guide investments in each of the seven Hort Frontiers funds. 

All EAPs feature a broad cross-section of specialist representatives, including growers, subject matter professionals, and state government experts.

To provide a framework for advice and decision-making, each of the Hort Frontiers funds is governed by a document of Co-Investment Strategic Intent (CSI) outlining key investment themes that must be met in order for concepts to be successful.

International Trade investment consultation

To best guide discussions around trade and market access investments, Hort Innovation convenes meetings with specialist trade panels, of which there are two:

  • International Trade Advisory Panel (ITAP)
  • International Market Access Assessment Panel (IMAAP).

The terms of reference and panel members for each panel can be found on the Trade and market access page.

These panels are tasked with providing advice to Hort Innovation on a range of trade-related matters, export requirements and new market opportunities. Issues specific to market access are relayed to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for consideration.