Industry input into strategic investment of nursery levy

Pat AbrahamHorticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) is working with the nursery industry to identify the key priorities areas for nursery levy investment in research and development (R&D), and marketing, for the 2017-2021 period.

Sixty percent of the nursery levy is allocated to R&D. This is matched with Australian Government funding to address key industry issues. The industry allocates the remaining 40 per cent of the levy in marketing the industry.

The Nursery and Garden Industry Strategic Investment Plan 2012 – 2016, which is due to finish by the end of the year, will be a starting point for the new plan.

Its key focus is based on three principles:

  • Grow the market for plants and greenlife in the urban environment
  • Communicate the benefit of plants to all industry sectors, influencers at all levels of government and consumers
  • Ensure industry has processes in place re governance and biosecurity to enable businesses to operate effectively.

This has included investment into projects such as 202020 Vision, which is aiming to increase the urban green-life area by 20 per cent by 2020, and therefore drive demand for nursery products.

Growers and others involved in the supply chain will have opportunities to provide input into the development of the new investment plan. Hort Innovation has engaged Pat Abraham from Key-Link Solutions to work with industry and develop a sound R&D and marketing investment plan.

The first step is preparing a snapshot of where the industry is now. This includes determining whether the priorities outlined in the current investment plan have been progressed, understanding the key trends impacting on the industry over the next five years, and identifying desired outcomes.

This process will then highlight important themes and priority areas. Key industry leaders will also be involved in a workshop, to discuss these priority areas and identify strategies that will ensure the nursery levy is invested in driving the industry forward.

A draft strategic investment plan will then be released for industry comment. The plan will be available on the Hort Innovation website.

The end result will be a document outlining ways in which investment in R&D, and marketing, can help the industry to evolve and grow over the next few years. It will also guide the deliberations of the Strategic Investment Advisory Panel, when it’s considering which projects to fund.

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