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Hort InnovationThe companyCorporate governance Reset and Refresh: Roles, responsibilities and the advice mechanism

Reset and Refresh: Roles, responsibilities and the advice mechanism

What does good look like?

In July 2021, Hort Innovation Australia Limited (Hort Innovation) developed an industry discussion paper that was distributed to Peak Industry Bodies (PIBs) and other stakeholders, intended as pre-work for a series of three workshops to be held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The focus of those workshops was to be ‘what does good look like?’ for the horticulture industry in Australia, how to achieve meaningful change, and raise the quality of outcomes for all industry participants. A copy of the discussion paper can be found here.

The key areas and principles the paper identified as necessary to achieving executional excellence were:

  • The need for clearer definitions of roles and responsibilities of Hort Innovation and PIBs
  • A review of the current Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) advice mechanism and more formal recognition of the role of PIBs in providing advice to Hort Innovation and consultation with levy payers.

Due to the constantly evolving COVID situation, those workshops were postponed to 2022 and Hort Innovation engaged Seftons to conduct up to 50 one-on-one interviews with PIBs, industry and government stakeholders, plus Hort Innovation teams. The interviews were an opportunity for stakeholders to provide their feedback and views on the draft definitions of roles and responsibilities, plus the current and alternative models for the advice mechanism, which were set out in the industry discussion paper.

Feedback from the interviews was captured in an insights report titled "Reset and Refresh: Roles, responsibilities and the advice mechanism" (Report). That report was distributed to industry stakeholders on 24 November 2021.

Working Group

In response to feedback requesting collaborative engagement and to ensure the process is representative of all of industry, Hort Innovation established a Working Group made up of representatives from PIBs, industry, DAWE, and Hort Innovation. Hort Innovation called for 'expressions of interest' for four industry representatives to be part of that Working Group. The expression of interest and evaluation process was managed by Seftons.

The membership of the working group is:

  • Jolyon Burnett, CEO, Australian Macadamia Society
  • Joanna Cave, CEO, Greenlife Industry Australia
  • Rachel MacKenzie, Executive Director, Berries Australia
  • Ross Skinner, Former CEO, Almond Board of Australia
  • Michael Nixon, Director, Hort Innovation
  • Robert Clark AM, Director, Hort Innovation
  • Anthony Kachenko, GM Stakeholder Experience, Hort Innovation
  • Fiona Hill-Stein, Director, Horticulture Policy, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The Working Group will develop a framework, structure, and approach for industry workshops in May/June 2022, which will then be provided to industry stakeholders for consideration before the workshops. The framework is not intended to set out sweeping reforms but rather provide a starting point for a co-designed pathway forward, to be canvassed with industry and further developed through the workshops.

The Working Group operates under a Terms of Reference, available here.

Working Group Summaries

As the Working Group makes progress, summaries of their meetings are being uploaded here for industry stakeholders to view.

Working Group Summary 21 March and 11 April 2022

Best Practice Guide to Stakeholder Consultation

On 24 December 2021, Minister Littleproud released the Best Practice Guide to Stakeholder Consultation – Horticulture Innovation Australia (the Guide). The Guide provides a set of guiding principles that apply to all rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) – recognising that each RDC is different and engages differently with stakeholders. The Guide also outlines what good stakeholder consultation looks like and describes how industry would like to be consulted in the identification of RD&E and marketing priorities.

This Guide will underpin the ‘Reset and Refresh: Roles, responsibilities and the advice mechanism’ project, and a copy of the Guide is available here.