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

All projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the passionfruit R&D or marketing levy and, in the case of R&D, contributions from the Australian Government.


Look out for the new Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund logo

You may have noticed there’s been a little snipping to the name and logo of Hort Innovation recently. Because you’ve come to know us as simply ‘Hort Innovation’, that’s what we’re now officially called.

Passionfruit growers and stakeholders will also notice the introduction of a handy new logo specific to the passionfruit industry. You can now look for the ‘Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund’ logo (pictured below) to quickly and easily identify projects, content and other outputs related to the strategic investment of your levy from here on out.

You can read more about the slight changes at

On the Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund page…

Along with Hortlink, Hort Innovation’s webpage for passionfruit levy payers is a great source of info. On it you’ll find:

  • The Passionfruit Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier this year.
  • The latest meeting notes from the passionfruit Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met face to face on March 15 in Brisbane, and vie teleconference to finalise the upcoming marketing campaign on July 13. The SIAP will meet again around the timing of the Passionfruit Australia annual general meeting in October.
  • Financial documents regarding your levy, including operating statements and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.
Any questions?

The passionfruit industry has a new Relationship Manager at Hort Innovation – Bradley Mills. Brad is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Passionfruit Fund program, and can be reached on 0408 635 465 or at



Communication program for the passionfruit industry (PF13004)

Status: Completed project

Key research provider: Passionfruit Australia

What was it all about? Through its three-year run, this project delivered quarterly issues of The Passion Vine magazine, to keep Australian passionfruit growers and other industry stakeholders informed about the latest R&D and marketing activity, essential chemical updates, and other key industry news, market issues and reports. Through supply of this information, the ultimate goal has been to assist growers in making production decisions, and to build industry capacity, productivity and profitability.

The project has also maintained the website, providing information about growing, product, supply, marketing and more.

Hort Innovation is currently contracting a new project to carry on communication activities for the industry.

National passionfruit breeding program (PF15000)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Southern Cross University

What’s it all about? Established in mid-2016, this three-year project with Southern Cross University is focused on the development and evaluation of new passionfruit varieties to ensure the sustainability of the industry. It is working towards the release of new commercial varieties before varietal decline affects the profitability of current ones such as Sweetheart and Misty Gem.

The project is also selecting and trialling new rootstocks, conducting Panama breeding and establishing an industry seedbank to conserve and enhance current passionfruit genetic material in Australia.

What’s the latest update? While no project update was due to Hort Innovation in the period since the last Hortlink, at the time of last reporting many crosses and selfs of passionfruit varieties had been carried out by the researchers, most recently for the new Panama and rootstock part of the program. The seed from these crosses and selfs was to be planted, to look for qualities the program is after. Later on, the project team will be seeking volunteers to be involved in wider trials here.

At the time of last reporting, the project team had also commenced the process of evaluating first-stage trial plants from last year – seedlings planted out in 2016 – to identify candidates for further trialing on growers’ properties. While doing this, the team was to be on the lookout for any crosses in which there is variation for traits of interest. These populations might be used in the future for developing DNA markers. The researchers were also set to look at the stage-two trials (grafted selections) from last year to see how they are performing. Initially they reported that there were a few good-looking vines from the 2016 seedlings in the Tom x Lacey crosses planted at Burringbar – with a hopeful eye being kept on these.

As reported in last Hortlink, an initial genetic linkage map had also been developed based on approximately 180 vines of the Tom x Lacey cross planted on two grower properties, and fruit was currently being assessed for pH, Brix, colour and other features. The goal is to see if DNA markers can be found on the linkage map that are associated with these traits. If the project team can find a few traits with good markers, then this should help in the future to select good candidate vines at seedling stage.

A commercialisation strategy meeting is scheduled before the end of the year.

Passionfruit industry minor use program (PF16000)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Hort Innovation

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 passionfruit 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 to our membership program for free here.



Hort Innovation invests the passionfruit marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Passionfruit Fund. Here’s a look at some of the most recent activity.

Public relations (PR) activity

In regard to public relations (PR) activity, since May the Aussie Passionfruit campaign has continued to inspire media, influencers and consumers to use passionfruit in new ways under the theme ‘Finish with Passion’. This activity was focused on spreading awareness of the winter season, encouraging consumption while supply was at its peak.

‘Finish with Passion’ showcased how Aussie Passionfruit can transform an ordinary dish into something special by simply adding a splash of natural and tangy passionfruit, while promoting seasonality, selection, storage and handling tips.

New, winter-focused assets – including recipes, a season update, tips and tricks –  were sent to media and influencers, and passionfruit grower Kaye Ziser acted as the passionfruit spokesperson.

Health graphics were shared with health influencers (bloggers) to showcase the fruit’s health benefits, and fresh passionfruit hampers were sent to five top media targets. These assets inspired media and influencers to promote passionfruit consumption in winter.

While the media side of the campaign wrapped up in July, the social media pages continue to provide inspiring and educational content to the public.

Key results:

  • The 2016/17 public relations campaign generated 194 pieces of media and social media coverage, with a total reach of 12,815,097 people.
  • It was a highly effective campaign with 76 per cent of coverage including seasonality messaging, 65 per cent including usage tips and 29 per cent including health messaging.
  • Media was particularly responsive to hampers and the recipes with hamper send-outs resulted in media coverage in top-tier titles including The Australian Women’s Weekly, That’s Life, Recipes +, The Healthy Food Guide and Women’s Health and Fitness.
Facebook and Instagram

The Aussie Passionfruit Facebook and Instagram pages continue to inspire usage by providing useful tips on picking, storage and cooking with passionfruit, along with health information, recipes and insights into the industry and growers.

There’s a strong community of 40,000 fans on Facebook who engage with the page regularly. It’s a great forum for the public to ask any questions they may have about passionfruit, source information and provide feedback. The comments on the page are overwhelmingly positive, with fans showing great support for the industry and growers.

Top points:

  • Between May and the start of September, the passionfruit page generated 1.5 million page impressions, 3760 post shares, 1384 post comments and 11,073 post likes.
  • Since the beginning of the campaign, the Facebook page has grown by 43 per cent to 40,000 fans, while the Instagram page has grown by 70 per cent to 922 followers.
  • The Facebook page features two posts a week, while Instagram features three posts a week with content that focuses on the delicious taste and provenance of passionfruit.
  • The audience responds particularly well to sweet recipes and farmer profiles. The best performing Facebook post between May and September was a ‘3 ways to finish a dish with Aussie Passionfruit’ video, which showed how to make melting moments, passionfruit cupcakes and passionfruit tart using a simple passionfruit curd recipe. The video received 983 likes, reached 241,360 people and it was shared 895 times. View the video here.
  • The best performing Instagram post featured a large bowl of fresh Aussie passionfruit in halves, and it asked fans what they’d like to do with it. It also informed the Aussie Passionfruit audience about the winter peak and suggested some dish ideas. It received 128 likes and 14 comments.
 Other activity…
  • Consumer research was undertaken to help guide the development of the next three-year marketing plan for 2017-2020. Look for details in an upcoming edition of Hortlink.
Print page