See how the mushroom levy is being put to work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the industry levy, and results, in the R&D and marketing snapshots – or click on a project below to go straight to its update:


Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s mushroom grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • The new mushroom Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, with an easy-to-read ‘at a glance’ version and the full PDF document. The SIP was finalised in April after close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders. It outlines priorities for strategic investment in the industry, and will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the mushroom Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest meeting notes from the mushroom SIAP, which most recently met on May 25, and is due to meet again during August.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the July 2016 to March 2017 financial operating statement, and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.

Any questions?

As well as the mushroom grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Management Lead John Vatikiotis is always available to answer questions on the mushroom program on 0429 022 637 or at For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Monique Emmi.



Communication program for the Australian mushroom industry 2016-2019 (MU15001)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Beginning in 2016, this project is delivering effective and timely communications to ensure Australian mushroom growers and other industry stakeholders are kept up-to-date with the latest mushroom R&D and marketing investments, developments and outcomes, and other industry news and information.

What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:

  • The quarterly Australian Mushrooms Journal, delivered electronically
  • The monthly Industry Update e-newsletter
  • Industry website (grower log-in at the top right), which also houses AGORA,  the industry’s pest and disease knowledge management and communication system
  • YouTube videos on R&D investments, with the first video to be made available to industry shortly.

Communication and education of mushroom nutrition research to health professionals – phase 2 (MU14000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Beginning at the end of 2014, this project collects information about the health and nutrition benefits of mushrooms and uses this to update a range of health professionals – putting them in the best position to advocate for the inclusion of mushrooms in the wider public’s diet.

What’s the latest update? The project continues to update health professionals – including dietitians, medical doctors, nurses, dentists, naturopaths – as well as home economists and health media, via communication channels including:

  • The ‘health and nutrition’ section of, where resources such as fact sheets are kept up to date with new research
  • The project’s Talking Research e-newsletter
  • A printed or electronic version of a succinct brochure, Just Three a Day For a Healthier Life
  • Presentations, farm tours and cooking demonstrations, which are given to health professionals, nutrition students and health media around the country.

The project also continues to respond to requests for help from dietitians, bloggers, journalists and researchers regarding the role of mushrooms in health as needed.

For a more detailed update, refer to the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1).

Mushroom industry minor use program (MU16002)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the mushroom industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Food safety and QA risk management (MU16000), a new project that was contracted by Hort Innovation in March. It will build on the foundations of the industry’s existing Food Safety and Quality Assurance Risk Management Service (FSQARMS) program, to provide an effective risk management mechanism at both an individual business and broader industry level. The FSQARMS program will continue to monitor food safety and QA issues in relation to mushrooms domestically and overseas, provide update reports in appropriate industry communication channels, run an independent verification testing program through accredited laboratories and more.



Hort Innovation’s management of the industry’s marketing has seen the mushroom marketing levy invested in the following activity in recent months…

In-store sampling

During February there was extensive in-store sampling in 100 IGA stores, again in conjunction with Australian Onions. This was supported by point-of-sale kits and catalogue promotions. Some 7000 mushroom-dish samples were given out, with 34 per cent of the people who received a sample going on to purchase mushrooms.

Following the promotion, the average weekly scan sales for mushrooms have increased by 4.7 per cent, pointing to the ability of the promotional approach to drive sales directly.

Mushroom - in-store 2

Television advertising

As reported in the last edition of Hortlink, the Australian Mushrooms television campaign was launched in February in the two strongest programs at the time – Married at First Sight and My Kitchen Rules – in every metro market. Running from February 5 until March 19, the reach goal set was exceeded in all states, proving a very successful campaign for the period.

The campaign involved ads targeted to specific times of the day, such as this one featuring an Australian Mushrooms breakfast omelette.

The Sydney Royal Easter Show

Running from April 6 to 19, the Sydney Royal Easter Show drew 922,000 visitors. Australian Mushrooms were represented in a corner position within the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, offering up recipe samples and cooking demonstrations. A total of 45,000 samples and 60,000 brochures were given out.

The brand’s participation was selected due to timing of the event, footfall, geographic coverage and the demographic of showgoers.

Mushroom - Easter Show

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