See how the sweetpotato marketing levy is being put to work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the marketing levy, and results.

With the R&D levy set to be invested into new projects for the industry by the early new year – with at least two new concepts currently progressing – look for updates on this activity in the next edition of Hortlink.


Don’t forget to grab the Sweetpotato Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Sweetpotato 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 projects do you want to see?

As always, Hort Innovation encourages all growers and industry participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the research and other activities they want to see – whether that’s within the industry-specific Sweetpotato 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 Sweetpotato Fund page…

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

  • Updates regarding the sweetpotato Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), as available. Developed in close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders, the SIP will be a document outlining the priorities for strategic investment for the industry. It will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the sweetpotato Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments. The completed SIP is expected to be released during early 2018.
  • The latest meeting notes from the sweetpotato SIAP, which last met in June 2017 and at the time of writing was due to meet again during December
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the most recent financial operating statement.
  • Grower resources and events of interest to the industry.
Any questions?

Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Christian Patterson is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Sweetpotato Fund program. He can be reached on 0433 896 753 or at christian.patterson@horticulture.com.au.



Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the sweet potato marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund. This marketing program continues to support a number of activities…

In-store demonstrations

September and October saw sweetpotato in-store demonstrations happening across major supermarkets on Australia’s east coast. A total of 150 supermarkets were involved, including 73 Coles stores and 77 Woolworths supermarkets, with the activity designed to increase sales, encourage trial, communicate sweetpotato health benefits and usage tips, and to distribute recipe brochures.

Some 16,300 sweetpotato samples were given out to shoppers, with a high trial-to-conversion rate of 36 per cent, and Victoria averaging the highest number of sales during the campaign.

Family expo activity

The marketing program saw sweetpotatoes showcased at the Sydney Essential Baby and Toddler Show, held in Darling Harbour in late September. More than 17,600 visitors attended the show and over 4000 samples were given out to visitors, along with 3000 sweetpotato recipe books containing nutritional information, meal ideas and recipes for baby’s first foods, transitioning to solid foods, feeding hungry toddlers and meals for the whole family.

The demographic of visitors fell directly into the marketing campaign’s target demographic of families – with 46 per cent of visitors expecting a new baby, 34 per cent with a baby 0-12 months, 22 per cent with a toddler 13-36 months, and 13 per cent with a child over three years of age.

The Everyday Sweetpotatoes: Recipes for Kids & Families recipe book has also been released as an e-book – available here – which has had more than 3000 downloads to date.

Social media activity

The social media campaign is continuing with its ‘always on’ approach continues to generate great content and achieve high reach. Since the last Hortlink there has been a focus on generating more fans for the sweetpotato Facebook page, with more than 10,000 genuine Australian-based sweetpotato lovers/consumers added to the page’s followers – and more than one million people reached with sweetpotato content.

Constant insights are taken on the social media strategy and the program is tweaked monthly to maximise opportunities to reach and engage sweetpotato consumers.

Coming up

Open tenders have been sent out for in-store demonstrations and events, and public relations and social media for the marketing program, which will see the program planned out over the next two-and-a-half years.

December will see the full three-year strategy finalised, with the program completely aligned across all areas of investment. The final marketing plan and strategy will be made available to all growers.

There will also be lots of new activity in the new calendar year. Watch this space!

Get involved

To date, the marketing program has had excellent participation and support from growers, including grower attendance at the family expo described above. Hort Innovation encourages growers to continue to be involved in the program…

  • On-farm images of harvest, packing, or general life on a sweetpotato farm are always well received by the consumers – share yours with Craig Perring at craig.perring@horticulture.com.au for potential inclusion in the industry’s social media channels
  • You can also share your name with Craig if you would like to volunteer for some of the upcoming events
  • Craig can also help you get hold of Australian Sweetpotato marketing materials, including copies of the sweetpotato recipe book, if you’d like to help share them around.
  • Following, liking and sharing the program’s social media posts is another great way to get involved, so make sure you follow Australian Sweetpotatoes on Facebook

Growers are also encouraged to chat with the sweetpotato SIAP panellists to share thoughts on the marketing program – this is always welcome, as the more feedback received from growers, the better the marketing program can be. You can find information on the SIAP on Hort Innovation’s Sweetpotato Fund page.

For any questions relating to the Sweetpotato Fund marketing activities, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Craig Perring at craig.perring@horticulture.com.au. For information on the broader fund, contact Christian Patterson on the details above.

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