Table grape

See how the table grape 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. 

All projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the table grape 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 Table Grape Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Table Grape 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 Table Grape 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 Table Grape Fund page…

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

  • Key documents including the Table Grape Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier in 2017, and the Table Grape Fund Annual Report
  • The latest meeting notes from the table grape Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met in Melbourne in July 2017 and is due to meet again in person during May 2018, but will convene via teleconference in the meantime to provide an update while minimising the interruption to harvest
  • 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 Brad Wells is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Table Grape Fund program. He can be reached on 0412 528 398 or at



Table grape supply chain quality

Status: New project

Key research provider: Delytics

What’s it all about? Contracted by Hort Innovation in November, this new project will support growers and retailers in adopting collaborative quality standards and practices for Australian table grapes. Its quality-focused activities will prioritise the supply of grapes of optimal eating quality right from the start of the season, and so contribute to consumer confidence, repeat purchasing, and increased demand.

What’s the latest update? With the project still in its initial stages, look out for more details in future editions of Hortlink and in industry channels.

Export market access, maintenance, biosecurity and developing export markets for the Australian table grape industry

Status: Completed project

Key research provider: Australian Table Grape Association

What was it all about? This project was established to improve and maintain market access for Australian table grapes in overseas markets. A key focus was on direct engagement with growers and exporters to develop export readiness and industry knowledge, and engagement with existing, new and potential markets and importers.

As reported in the last edition of Hortlink, among its activities the project…

  • Supported industry attendance at international trade events, including the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show, held in Hong Kong in September, as well as the Gulfood expo in Dubai and the SIAL Food Trade Show in China earlier in 2017.
  • Organised and coordinated importer tours, where importers from key export markets were introduced to the Australian table grape industry and taken to visit growers, packers and exporters to build business-to-business relationships.
  • Delivered tools, including the industry’s online export registration and mapping system here. The online system continues to be enhanced and enables growers to register table grape properties for accreditation to export to Asian markets, replacing the old paper-based registration and accreditation process. Registrations for the 2017/18 season closed in early October, 2017.
  • Developed export readiness for table grape growers, including the delivery of export protocol workshops and other training; the supply of an export manual; and the provision of market intelligence and export statistics to growers (contact the Australian Table Grape Association for more on these).
  • Supported other market-access activities, including facilitating industry participation in strategic meetings and programs with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and relevant state government authorities.

Full details will be available in the project’s final report, which will ultimately be available to order at Final reports are free to Australian horticulture levy payers, registered Hort Innovation members and industry representative bodies. Not a member? Sign up to our membership program for free here.

Hort Innovation is in the process of contracting a new project to carry on these export readiness and market access activities for the Australian table grape industry. It is expected the new work will continue to provide input into an industry export strategy and the development of export quality standards; provide export-related training and resources; facilitate export logistics and more.

Evaluation of dried and table grape varieties

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: CSIRO

What’s it all about? Beginning in 2016, this multi-industry project will deliver new grape varieties for both the table grape and dried grape industries, with levies from both used to fund the work.

For table grapes, new varieties adapted to local conditions will enable Australia to differentiate its products in international markets, enhance export opportunities and increase domestic consumption. The new varieties are intended to reduce production costs and minimise issues such as berry collapse in Thompson seedless, as well as poor budburst and low fruit bearing in sub-tropical regions. Early and late ripening types, and those with favourable long-term storage and transport characteristics, will also extend the season and provide opportunities to develop new markets.

What’s the latest update? While no official project update was due to Hort Innovation in the period since the last Hortlink, at the time of last reporting the project was continuing to evaluate seedless material established by CSIRO in previous projects; identify new selections for inclusion in multiplied plot trials; and establish new advanced selections for semi-commercial and regional testing.

For table grapes, evaluation for productivity and quality during the latest 2017 season had identified a range of promising selections that were to undergo further evaluation, ahead of any decisions being made to establish semi-commercial trials on grower properties. As a result, 19 seedlings had been identified for multiplication as own-rooted vines, and 20 selections had been identified for grafting onto Ramsey rootstock in multiplied plots at regional trial sites, to allow for evaluation under near-commercial conditions with management on appropriate large trellis systems.

There had also been a number of selections identified for removal from the evaluation project.

At the time of last reporting, across the project’s various trial sites, the project team had been continuing to implement vine management strategies to enhance fruit quality of selections. These strategies included gibberellic acid (GA) treatments for berry thinning, rachis stretching and berry sizing; bunch thinning and trimming; and leaf removal in the bunch zone.

Look for updates in future editions of Hortlink.

Australian table grape industry communications project

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Australian Table Grape Association

What’s it all about? Established in 2016, this project continues to maintain and improve communication to Australian table grape growers and other industry stakeholders. By keeping the industry up-to-date on R&D and marketing activities, news, events and other critical information, its ultimate goal is to help the industry tackle issues, and to support decision-making and the uptake of new research and technologies within table grape businesses.

What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:

Table grape 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 table grape 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.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Horticulture trade intelligence reporting 2017-2019 (MT16011), which is responsible for providing easy-to-read and easy-to-act-upon trade performance information to Australia’s horticulture industry. Quarterly table grape reports are made available for download here, in the resources section of Hort Innovation’s Table Grape Fund page.
  • Australian table grape industry attendance at the 2017 Italian table grape conference (TG16001), which was responsible for supporting industry attendance at the 8th International Table Grape Symposium, held in Italy in the first week of October, 2017. Held every three to four years, the Symposium brings together researchers, growers, consultants and other industry stakeholders to share table grape research, technologies and innovations from around the world. Attendees at the 2017 event heard about table grape production in Peru, the development of the industry in China, the profitability of table grapes in Chile and more. There was also a chance to see vineyards in the city of Bari, where grapes are grown on pergola-style trellises. Look for learnings from the event to be shared in industry channels, including in an upcoming edition of The Vine magazine.
  • SITplus: Developing and optimising production of a male-only, temperature-sensitive-lethal, strain of Qfly, B. tryoni (MT13059), which is developing a ‘temperature-sensitive lethal, male-selecting’ strain of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly). To put simply, the research will allow for male-only, sterile fruit flies to be bred in large numbers. It is one of the key projects in the broader strategic co-investment SITplus initiative that’s tackling the issue of Qfly. The male flies are to ultimately be released in growing regions of south-eastern Australian that are affected by Qfly. They will come to outnumber the wild male population in these areas and by mating with wild females – and limiting the opportunity for wild males to do so – they are intended to lead to the collapse of wild Qfly populations. The table grape industry is one of several involved in the project.



Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the table grape marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Table Grape Fund. Here’s a look at upcoming activity…

Social media activity

The Australian Grapes seasonal social media campaign kicks off in January 2018 across social channels including Facebook and Instagram. All activity is designed to encourage more grocery buyers to purchase Australian table grapes, and to raise awareness of how table grapes are an easy and delicious snack.

Under consideration is the recruitment of a ‘social influencer’ to join the seasonal campaign to promote table grapes by developing videos and posting photos to engage their followers on social media.

Table grape media kits will also be sent to key online social media influencers to spike interest in table grapes and drive additional coverage through social media, specifically targeting channels that have lots of following and extensive reach.

Print advertising

The West Australian newspaper publishes Fresh Magazine once a month, and table grapes will feature on a half-page throughout the peak season to boost awareness of Australian seasonality and focus on the versatility and ‘snackabilty’ of table grapes.

For any questions, contact the industry’s marketing manager at Hort Innovation, Dianne Phan, at

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