Projected high industry growth, an appetite for expanded trade and increasing sustainability priorities have driven the new Hort Innovation Strategy 24-26.
Released today, the strategy was informed by feedback from growers across the nation through farm visits, surveys and advice garnered through industry advisory panels and meetings. The strategy also considers the strategic investment plans of 37 levy-paying industries and growth projections for the $16 billion horticulture sector, revealed in resources such as the recently released Contribution of Australian horticulture industry report.
Providing a roadmap for Hort Innovation investments over the next three years, the Strategy is anchored on the grower-owned research and development corporation’s vision of ‘A prosperous and sustainable Australian horticulture industry built on innovation’.
Hort Innovation chair Julie Bird said the strategy reflects horticulture growers’ priorities, and the organisation is fully committed to working with industry to achieve its objectives.
“The value of Australian horticulture is projected to surge by up to 22.5 per cent by 2030,” she said.
"Equipping growers with the necessary tools to manage this remarkable growth is of utmost importance. We are attuned to the needs expressed by growers, and Hort Innovation is actively adapting to address them.
“We have a new strategy and a new structure that supports Australian horticulture to grow more, sell more, and get bang-for-buck from levy investments. These changes position us to get ahead of key issues in partnership with industry and to work together on larger, transformative projects.”
Strategy 24-26 outlines Hort Innovation's instrumental role in advancing Australian horticulture through:
- Enhancing and safeguarding the supply of Australian horticulture: including partnering with industry to address its sustainability priorities and support social and environmental stewardship. Spearheading world-class innovation and fortifying the industry against potential disruptions in the supply chain are also key.
- Accelerating local and global demand for Aussie fruit, vegetables, nuts, nursery plants and turf: including driving efforts to access and expand high-value markets, stimulate consumption, provide data-driven decision-making tools, and explore innovative approaches to utilising waste for generating new revenue streams.
- Maximising and diversifying the investments Hort Innovation makes on behalf of growers: including building strategic partnerships to deliver bigger, bolder investments, a new flexible investment framework for research partners and continuing to partner with industry to deliver impact at scale.
Hort Innovation chief executive officer Fifield said the new strategy builds upon Hort Innovation's progress over the past year, and emphasised a thriving internal culture and removing operational complexities.
“We have made changes internally, including a new Industry Service and Delivery team which consolidates our partnerships, adoption and investment work,” he said. “We have also restructured our business so that production-related R&D and sustainability work are in the same team, and our biosecurity R&D projects sit alongside our international trade efforts.
“In partnership with industry, these changes position us to get ahead of key issues and work together on larger, transformative projects.”
A copy of the Hort Innovation Strategy 24-26 can be found here.
In the past financial year, Hort Innovation invested close to $160 million into research and development and marketing initiatives that benefit levy payers.