See how the lychee levy is hard at 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 name below to go straight to a specific update. Also look for the ‘ACT NOW’ tag to easily identify project resources ready to use.

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


Don’t forget to grab the Lychee Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Lychee Fund Annual Report sums up all levy investments and activities from 2016/17. You can download a copy here, or head to Hort Innovation’s Annual Report Portal to place an order for a free hard copy of the report.

What research do you want to see?

As always, Hort Innovation encourages all growers and industry participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the research they want to see – whether that’s within the industry-specific Lychee Fund (where research is funded by grower levies and Australian Government contributions), or within Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative, Hort Frontiers (where research is funded through partnerships with co-investors).

Watch this video to see how ideas are collected and grown into projects, then submit your suggestions for new projects here.

Get closer to your investments with free membership

Hort Innovation membership brings you closer to the investment activities and results in your levy fund, and to the organisation as a whole. As well as providing the opportunity for voting rights at the company’s Annual General Meeting, membership helps you connect with your industry’s Relationship Manager, sends Hortlink straight to your inbox for first-look access, provides exclusive Grower Intel alerts with industry-specific news and opportunities, and more.

Paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a member, so read more here and sign up now!

Find resources on the Hort Innovation Lychee Fund page…

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

  • Key documents including the Lychee Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier in 2017, and the Lychee Fund Annual Report
  • The latest meeting notes from the lychee Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met on September 27, 2017 in Brisbane, and is due to meet again during May 2018
  • Current 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?

Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Astrid Hughes is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Lychee Fund program. She can be reached on 0405 306 334 or at



Grower guide for lychee grading

Status: New project

Key research provider: Australian Lychee Growers Association

What’s it all about? Contracted in September, this short project will bring together the various lychee grading standards in existence, to formulate an overall guide for growers. Reflecting required and cohesive industry grading standards and incorporating quality control requirements and best practice procedures, the guide will ensure the lychee industry is able to consistently present good-quality fruit to domestic and export markets and consumers.

The completed lychee grading charts are expected to be available to industry during the 2018 season.

Tropical fruit export strategy (MT17002) 

Status: New project

Key research provider: McKINNA et al

What’s it all about? This short multi-industry project will support the building of sustainable export markets and supply chain capabilities for a range of tropical commodities, including lychee, banana, passionfruit, papaya and persimmon. It has been tasked with developing a collective export strategy for these fruits – a road map for growing export markets, underpinned by information on each high-prospect market for each fruit category.

What’s the latest update? This investment was contracted by Hort Innovation in November. Look for information on the completed strategy in future editions of Hortlink and in industry channels.

Treatment for mites on lychee fruit after irradiation for improved market access (LY16002)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

What’s it all about? Beginning in early 2017, this project is looking to remove a potential barrier to the export of Australian lychees to the US: the presence of common pest the lychee erinose mite (Aceria litchii). Irraditiaton rates in the current protocol for export to the US are not able to kill this mite, and higher rates would damage the fruit. As a result, this project is investigating alternative treatments to reliably control the pest, such as post-harvest paraffinic oil dips or fumigation approaches.

What’s the latest update? The project will be continuing its investigations through the 2017/18 lychee season, in conjunction with the final year of the US market access project (LY15001).

As reported in the last edition of Hortlink, during the 2016/17 season, project trials indicated post-harvest oil treatment can control mites and insect pests, and a commercial shipment of lychees treated using oil and irradiation successfully entered the target market in the US. No adverse interaction between the two treatments was seen, and red-skinned varieties proved particularly suited to the oil treatment, with colour enhancement recorded and the fruit storing well for up to two weeks at 5°C.

The project also looked at fumigation with ethyl formate and carbon dioxide as an alternative treatment, though the fruit experienced severe browning at the fumigation rates required to kill mites and other insect pests.

Extension of this work will allow the research team to test a ‘systems approach’ similar to that used by the citrus industry, incorporating pre-harvest pest management control, fruit selection for export, pressure washing and post-harvest oil treatment using a flood spray shower.

Look for an update in future editions of Hortlink.

Australian lychee industry communications program (LY16005)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Fruit Tree Media

What’s it all about? Beginning in August 2017 to carry on from previous communications work, this project ensures Australian lychee growers remain up to date with the latest R&D, marketing and other relevant information and issues related to the industry.

What’s the latest update? Project activities continue to include the production of journal Living Lychee and its distribution to the Australian Lychee Growers Association mailing list, plus the updating and maintenance of the industry website with practical content, news and other key information for growers.


PDFs of previous and current Living Lychee’s will continue to be available for download on the industry website.

US market access project (LY15001)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Australian Lychee Growers Association

What’s it all about? With Australian lychees given the green light to enter the mainland United States in 2013 (with the exception of Florida), this three-year pilot program is working to open up this new export market. It involves a range of work, including:

  • Developing summaries on pests and diseases of quarantine concern, as well as chemicals and maximum residue limits
  • Developing pest monitoring guides
  • Sourcing and submitting packaging approval with relevant authorities
  • Grower registration and auditing.

What’s the latest update? An earlier edition of Hortlink featured this wrap up of the second year of the program, along with this interview with Jill Houser, who was on the front-line of the export process as both a grower and executive officer of the Australian Lychee Growers Association (ALGA).

As reported in the last Hortlink, for the third year of the program the project team has been continuing to look at ways to simplify the exporting experience to ensure more approved growers can take part – including reviewing existing procedures and treatments to see if the US export protocol can be incorporated into current growing, spraying and grading standards. Look for updates as the season progresses.


Grower guides relating to export also continue to be available through the ALGA, including information on pest and diseases of quarantine concern, as well as chemicals and maximum residue limits.

Lychee industry minor use program (LY16000)

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 lychee industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

The minor use program is also supported by the project Generation of residue, efficacy and crop safety data for pesticide applications in horticulture crops 2017 (ST16006) which, as the name suggests, is responsible for generating data to support a range of permit applications for a range of industries. Project ST16006 uses grant funds from the Australian Government’s Agvet program, which you can read more about here, plus some levy contributions.

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 is responsible for investing the lychee marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Lychee Fund. Here’s a look at some of the recent and upcoming activity helping Aussies celebrate summer with Australian Lychees.

Year one of a three-year vision

The campaign kicked off the season building on the celebration of lychees and the ‘loving lychee’ campaign of previous years, with an overarching strategy that focuses on the emotional connection consumers have with lychees and consumption occasions, rather than recipes.

The lychee campaign is focussed on getting the best return on investment and as such there are three key areas that the budget is focusing on: planning, media outreach and social media.


This area of the campaign involves identifying the key messages for the program, developing the look and feel of the social media content, and ensuring that the barriers consumers have to purchasing lychees are overcome through awareness, education and inspiration.

Media outreach

This aspect of the lychee marketing campaign involves the preparation of media releases that highlight key messages and opportunities to celebrate lychee love – for example, ‘Tis the season to love lychees’ to leverage the festive season and its celebratory occasions perfect for consuming lychees.

More detailed aspects of this activity involve preparing Christmas hampers to share with key social media influencers who have a large consumer fan base. Supply of the hampers and other campaign material is set to support these influencers in sharing inspiring shots of lychees as a ‘go to’ for summer entertaining with their audiences, celebrating the deliciousness of lychees and promoting consumption.

The hampers will be delivered across the season to ensure coverage appears throughout the production season.

As we are all increasingly ‘plugged in’ to a device, whether it’s a smartphone or laptop – scrolling through around 90m of content per day – it’s increasingly more challenging to capture consumer attention. Video and moving images do this, and as such there will be specific lychee video content created that highlights the lychee story and cuts through to consumers.

Social media

The industry’s social media campaign involves harnessing the lychee love from dedicated fans and leveraging Facebook and Instagram, with two posts per channel per week. The content of these posts speaks to three core celebration themes:

  • Summertime
  • Me time
  • Party time

Around these themes content will be created that gives consumers usage ideas – always fresh with a focus on entertaining; lychees as art with abundant ‘Buddha bowls’ (beautiful fresh food bowls); and fun facts about lychees. All growers are encouraged to send through the pictures and videos that talk to these themes that can be shared in industry channels.

Coming up

Keep an eye out for the lychee feature in the January edition of Nourish magazine. There will also be a small consumer research project undertaken to confirm the drivers and barriers consumers face in the decision to buy lychees, the results of which will be communicated through Hort Innovation and industry communication channels like Living Lychees when available.

For any questions relating to the Lychee Fund marketing activities, contact Astrid Hughes at

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