Processing tomato

Read on for an overview of how the Hort Innovation Processing Tomato Fund works, and the value it will deliver to the industry.


Processing Tomato Fund recap

The processing tomato collective industry fund (CIF), now known as the Hort Innovation Processing Tomato Fund, was established in February 2017. It brings together financial contributions from the processing tomato industry – collected as a voluntary levy – and allows access to Australian Government contributions.

The processing tomato industry has set producer contributions to the CIF at a rate of 0.5 per cent of gross value of production.

Making investments in the Processing Tomato Fund

Hort Innovation is responsible for strategically investing the processing tomato levy contributions and government funds into R&D projects to improve industry productivity and profitability, and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the processing tomato industry.

All investment decisions are to be made in close consultation with industry, and Hort Innovation has an industry-specific Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) established for this purpose.

The processing tomato SIAP

The processing tomato SIAP was appointed in mid-2017, with the panelists selected according to skills-based criteria and considering geographic and sectorial diversity. The panel also has a chair. SIAP panellists are listed on Hort Innovation’s Processing Tomato Fund webpage and include…

  • Matthew Wright, Kagome, VIC
  • Charles Hart, Chair, Australian Processing Tomato Research Council, VIC
  • James Weeks, Weeks Family Farms, VIC
  • Andrew Ferrier, SPC Ardmona, VIC
  • Jim Geltch, Geltch Investments, NSW
  • Liz Mann, industry development manager, VIC
  • Nick Raleigh, Kagome, VIC
  • Tony Henry, AD & VR Henry, VIC
  • Sze Flett, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), VIC

The SIAP’s key function is to provide strategic investment advice to Hort Innovation – helping guide the way industry contributions and Australian Government funds are put to use.

The SIAP met for the first time in October in Echuca, Victoria. Notes from each SIAP meeting, which will be held annually or convened as necessary, will remain available on the Processing Tomato Fund webpage.

What guides the processing tomato SIAP’s advice?

When providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments, the SIAP’s guiding document will be an industry-specific Strategic Investment Plan (SIP). This document will outline key investment outcomes and strategies, and ensure all investment decisions align with industry priorities.

At the time of writing, Hort Innovation had been working with industry to produce the SIP. A draft document was presented to the SIAP during October, and another round of consultation with industry was due to be completed by December. Look for updates on the SIP in the new year.


Following advice from the processing tomato SIAP, Hort Innovation is currently progressing the establishment of an industry development project. Look for an update in future edition of Hortlink.

Have an idea for a Processing Tomato Fund project?

All industry participants are welcome and encouraged to submit ideas for potential industry projects. To submit an idea, use Hort Innovation’s Concept Proposal Form here. You can also watch this video to learn more about how the collection of ideas and evolution into fully fledged projects works.

As well as ideas for industry-specific projects funded by industry and government contributions, you can submit suggestions for research and initiatives within Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative, Hort Frontiers. Hort Frontiers projects are funded through partnerships with co-investors and are carried out for the benefit of horticulture as a whole. Learn more about Hort Frontiers here.


Sign up to our membership program for free here. Becoming a member will keep you in closer contact with developments in the Processing Tomato Fund. Members have Hortlink sent straight to their inbox each quarter for an update on all investments, plus receive Grower Intel alerts about industry consultation events, notices and other updates as needed, and a monthly Growing Innovation newsletter with the latest horticulture-wide news from Hort Innovation.

Members and horticulture levy payers (as well as industry representative bodies) also have free access to Hort Innovation final reports, produced at the end of each project.


Sam Turner is the processing tomato industry’s Relationship Manager at Hort Innovation and is always happy to chat with growers and other industry stakeholders. He can be reached on 0418 164 717 or at if you have any questions, or would like to discuss anything related to the Processing Tomato Fund.

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