See how the papaya 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 papaya grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • Important updates regarding the papaya Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), as available. Developed in close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders, the SIP is a document outlining the priorities for strategic investment in the industry. It is to be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the papaya Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest meeting notes from the papaya SIAP, which most recently convened via teleconference on March 31 to discuss the industry’s marketing, and is due to meet again during June.
  • 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 papaya grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Astrid Hughes is always available to answer questions on the papaya program on 0405 306 334 or at For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Craig Perring at



New genetic targets to improve quality in papaya (PP15000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? With a focus on improving the quality of Australian papaya and producing elite, uniform cultivars, this project began in 2016 to assist breeding now and in the near-future, and to support industry development. It has five key sub-projects:

  • Breeding to improve flavour and other important traits in commercial papaya
  • Collection of papaya germplasm and the development of a related database, to provide a resource to increase the genetic base of Australian papaya
  • Molecular studies to assist breeding for papaya
  • Papaya ringspot virus type P (PRSV-P) resistance work
  • The employment of an industry development officer (IDO), who is responsible for carrying out the other sub-project work and for working closely with growers, researchers and other industry stakeholders.

What’s the latest update? A draft Handbook of Papaya Evaluation: Productivity and Fruit Quality Traits has been produced by the project team. The handbook represents the development of a standard, reliable protocol for growers, breeders and researchers to evaluate papaya tree productivity and fruit quality. It includes easy-reference images and information describing key traits, and how to measure them. It is expected to be made available to industry in July – look out for it in industry channels and on Hort Innovation’s papaya grower page.

A quick outline of other ongoing work in the project:

  • In regards to breeding to improve flesh flavour and fruit yield, seedlings from a promising new line have been planted in three trial locations in northern Queensland (Mareeba, Dimbulah and Innisfail), across six different farms. The trees will be evaluated for fruit quality and productivity traits in July and again in December this year. The best trees will then be selected for further breeding via self-pollination.
  • The collection and evaluation of germplasm of 29 commercial papaya varieties from Australia and other countries has occurred, and there has been field planting of germinated seeds from this material. The trees are to be evaluated for fruit quality and yield traits, to determine varietal performance at each trial location.
  • In working towards improving RSVP-P resistance, crossing work has attempted to transfer traits from disease-resistant germplasm to new papaya crosses, which are planted for evaluation at Griffith University – work to evaluate these plants after inoculation with the virus continues.

Papaya industry minor use program (PP16000)

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 papaya 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.



Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the papaya marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption of the fruit. Recent marketing efforts have included…

Social media

The consumer-facing Australian Papaya Facebook page ( hit 18,000 ‘fans’ in April, with a monthly reach of 185,530 people. Images of fresh papayas on farms, and increasing grower involvement, have been particularly successful in growing the page’s engagement rates.

Posts occur three times per week in peak flushes/season, and twice a week at other times.

Public relations

Off the back of an autumn seasonal media release, there has so far been 54 pieces of papaya coverage across traditional media – reaching a combined 159,930 consumers – as well as 63 pieces of social media coverage reaching over 5.16 million people.

In-store sampling

In-store sampling activities were launched in May and were set to occur in a total of 187 stores across New South Wales and Victoria. The selected stories include 30 Victorian venues that were audited in 2015/16 and found to have a low understanding of the product in general. The in-store sessions will each last for four hours, with education a key focus of the sampling activity, and take-home information outlining papaya health benefits being provided. Look for results in upcoming editions of Hortlink.

Family-focussed expo activity

Australian papayas were well-represented at the Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expo in Melbourne in late February, with 12,500 people in attendance. The papaya stand showcased papaya in puree form, with 2100 samples handed out. Blended with banana, the puree was a hit with babies and parents, including expecting mums and dads looking for ideas for once bub is born. The puree was presented as healthy and cost-effective.

Surveying at the point of sampling found that 100 per cent of people did not understand just how versatile and healthy papaya is, but those leaving the stand walked away with targeted messaging to help rectify this.

A further expo in Sydney, from May 19 to 21, also saw Australian papaya sampling and education, with puree and fruit given out with recipe cards and health-specific information for both mothers and babies. Grower Amanda Arbuckle, from Innisfail, helped represent growers at the event. Look for an update in the next Hortlink.

Papaya -baby show 2

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