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R&D Levy

The National Vegetable Levy was introduced in 1996, after considerable nation-wide consultation, at the request of AUSVEG.

Having a levy allows for planned Research and Development with practical outcomes. The Commonwealth Government matches industry investment for R&D on a dollar for dollar basis, doubling the amount of money that is invested back into the industry for R&D.

The levy is calculated at 0.5% of the value of produce at the first point of sale. This equates to 50 cents out of $100 of produce sold at the wholesale market or processing company. If it is a direct sale it is collected through the retailer. It is the responsibility of the growers to ensure the levy is paid at the first point of sale, regardless of the type of sale - direct or wholesale.

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The collected levy is then forwarded to the Levies Revenue Service (LRS), a designated Commonwealth Government section under Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, responsible for collecting all agriculture levies. The LRS forwards the money to Horticulture Australia, an industry owned company which coordinates, invests and manages R&D and promotional programs on behalf of Australia’s horticulture industries.

Horticulture Australia Limited was formed in 2001 following the merger of Commonwealth statutory organisations, Horticultural Research and Development Corporation and Australian Horticultural Corporation.

Not all vegetables are levied Potatoes, onions, processing tomatoes and mushrooms have separate levy arrangements and are not included in this program. Other crops currently have no national levy arrangements.

Like all good business investments, strategic planning is vital to the future direction of the industry. The vegetable industry determines the Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), which highlights the priority areas and maximises the return on the funds invested in R&D. 

Horticulture Australia and AUSVEG have set up an industry based advisory group responsible for recommending where funds should be allocated. Even though they use the SIP as a guide, there is still flexibility to support R&D for unexpected issues, such as the appearance of White Blister on Brassica or Lettuce Aphid.

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July 2015

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