Who pays the fresh potato R&D levy?

The levy is paid by growers who produce and sell either fresh or processing potatoes in Australia.

The total levy charge is set at 60 cents per tonne for fresh potatoes and 50 cents per tonne for processing potatoes and must be paid by the producer of fresh potatoes or the owner of processing potatoes. The Federal Government also provides funding in addition to grower levy payments. Once paid, the research and development levy funds are managed by Hort Innovation.

How is levy money invested?

Hort Innovation has two funding models for investment in research and development. The industry’s levy is invested with Australian Government contributions through the Hort Innovation Potato – Fresh Fund, which is part of the organisation’s strategic levy investment activities.

All investments through the Potato – Fresh Fund are made with advice from the industry’s Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) – a skills-based panel made of panellists from across the fresh potato industry, the majority of whom are levy-paying growers.

Strategic levy investments have a one- to five-year scope and the R&D is designed to directly benefit growers in the potato industry. Project topics range from pest and disease management to biosecurity matters, with findings communicated through a variety of channels, including Potatoes Australia.

You can find information on all current strategic levy investments, and details of the SIAP, on Hort Innovation’s Potato – Fresh Fund page.

The second Hort Innovation funding model is the strategic partnership initiative known as Hort Frontiers. Hort Frontiers projects do not involve levy dollars, unless an industry chooses to become a co-investor in them, through advice of the SIAP. Instead, Hort Frontiers facilitates collaborative across-horticulture projects involving funding from a range of co-investors. These projects have a long-term focus and are designed to solve major and often complex challenges to secure the future of Australian horticulture.

You can read more about Hort Frontiers and the seven funds within it on the Hort Innovation website.

How can growers get involved?

All potato growers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas for the research they want to see, both within the levy-specific Potato – Fresh Fund, and within the wider Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative.

Ideas can be submitted directly to Hort Innovation through the online Concept Proposal Form. Growers are also encouraged to reach out to the SIAP panellists for the industry (available from the Potato – Fresh Fund page).

For more information on the agricultural levy system, see the Department of Agriculture and Water Resource’s website.

This communication is funded by Hort Innovation, using the fresh potato research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.