Raspberry and blackberry

See how the raspberry and blackberry 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 raspberry and blackberry R&D or marketing levy and, in the case of R&D, contributions from the Australian Government. In some projects, additional funding sources are also used.


Don’t forget to grab the Raspberry and Blackberry Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Raspberry and Blackberry 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 Raspberry and Blackberry 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 Raspberry and Blackberry Fund page…

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

  • Key documents including the Raspberry and Blackberry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier in 2017, and the industry annual report
  • The latest meeting notes from the raspberry and blackberry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met early in March 2017, and is due to meet again this coming March.
  • 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 Bradley Mills is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Raspberry and Blackberry Fund program. He can be reached on 0408 635 465 or at bradley.mills@horticulture.com.au.



Berry export strategy

Status: New project

Key research provider: Auspex Strategic Advisory

What’s it all about? Contracted by Hort Innovation in November, this short project is for and funded by both the raspberry and blackberry and strawberry industries. It will be responsible for identifying, sizing and addressing opportunities for the industries in international markets, through the development of an export strategy. Work in this space is intended to build or rebuild export capabilities, drive export growth, and position the industries to grow demand in export markets.

What’s the latest update? With work on the strategy now underway, look for an update early in 2018.

Building resilience to drupelet disorder on rubus

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

What’s it all about? Established in 2015 and due to conclude during 2018, this project is identifying contributing causes to red drupelet disorder in blackberries, and looking at improved management practices pre, post and during harvest that might reduce its incidence.

What’s the latest update? With the project in its third and final season of field and laboratory trials, the project team are continuing to collect data and observations around…

  • The physical and chemical changes within fruit affected by red drupelet disorder (including changes to the structure of cells, pH and acidity changes, and chemical profiles within the fruit), to better understand the underlying physiology of the disorder. To date, some key mechanisms of the disorder have been identified, including cell membrane damage resulting in the degradation of the pigment anthocyanin.
  • The factors during harvest and storage that play a role in the disorder. Initial results confirm a significant interaction between harvest temperature and susceptibility to mechanical damage, which is in turn a factor in red drupelet disorder. The project has also indicated storage temperature and post-harvest physical damage can play significant roles. With storage temperature, the latest results suggest the rate of cooling can impact on the development of drupelet disorder, with fruit that underwent a ‘step-cooling’ treatment showing significantly reduced rates of the disorder, compared to fruit that was rapidly cooled after harvest.
  • The role of nitrogen fertilisation in the expression of the disorder, with initial results suggesting excess nitrogen can produce higher rates of red drupelet disorder (though affected fruit did not appear significantly different, chemically or physically).


Download this fact sheet on managing red drupelet disorder, which was presented at the 2017 Fruit Growers Tasmania conference and provides an overview of project findings through the first two seasons. The sheet will be updated and distributed to industry when the final outcomes of the project are available.

Rubus industry minor use program

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 raspberry and blackberry 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 portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. 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.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Enhanced National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (MT16005), which is delivering a nationally coordinated bee-pest surveillance program to help safeguard honey-bee and pollinator-dependent industries in Australia. It builds upon the previous National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (MT12011), and includes upgrading sentinel hive arrays, strengthening relationships with surveillance operators, the introduction of new elements such as Asian hornet screening and more. The surveillance is designed to enable the early detection of high-priority pest incursions that can impact on honey bees, providing the best opportunity for successful pest eradication. The raspberry and blackberry industry is one of several contributors to the project’s work.



Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the raspberry and blackberry marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Raspberry and Blackberry Fund.

With the upcoming summer season for the berries, the marketing program will continue to build on the strength of the industry’s consumer-based social media following and Australia’s love for fresh berries.

Content on social media will highlight the versatility and health benefits that fresh berries add to any meal, whether it be breakfast, dessert or snack. As with previous seasons, social media ‘influencers’ who reflect the positive and healthy lifestyle perspective the brand stands for with be leveraged. Using influencers that have large audiences of followers helps get berry messaging and inspiration to as many people as possible, promoting purchase and consumption with Australian consumers.

Content, recipes, seasonal news and stories will also be seeded to media contacts to promote the publishing of positive news articles on berries throughout the season.

Look for updates on this activity in upcoming editions of Hortlink.

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