A new organization called Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been formed to replace Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and undertake research and development and marketing efforts to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry.
The move follows a recent independent report into the performance of HAL that recommended a change to a new grower-owned research and development company.
A Senate inquiry is looking at industry structures and systems that collect and disburse levies, according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The new company is expected to begin negotiating a deed of agreement with the Australian government that could enable it to receive more than $100 million annually from grower levies, industry contributions, and taxpayer funds to fund horticulture programs.
Two of the organization’s nine board members are orchardists. Susan Finger grows apples in the Yarra Valley in Victoria and is a board member of the Victorian Farmers Federation. Mark Napper grows peaches, nectarines, and other fruits at Bangalow, New South Wales.