Consulting with growers and industry for advice on the best investment decisions
Hort Innovation consults with growers and industry to achieve the best outcomes for Australian horticulture industries.
An advisory mechanism for each of the three areas of investment is in place.
Strategic levy investment
To gain industry insights for strategic levy investments in research, development and marketing, Hort Innovation consults with growers through industry-specific panels – Strategic Investment Advisory Panels (SIAPs).
SIAPs consist of industry supply-chain stakeholders, most of whom are levy-paying growers. Panellists are selected through an expressions of interest process and are there on behalf of industry, not their individual interests. Panels also include Industry Representative Body (IRB) representation for their respective industry and, where applicable, a lead agency representative from within the National Horticulture Research Network (NHRN). Panellists must meet appropriate skills criteria. Each SIAP also has a suitably qualified Chair to ensure the smooth operations of meetings, that advice is in line with Strategic Investment Plans and that contributions from all panellists are recognised equitably.
The SIAPs have two main objectives: to give transparent and robust investment advice; and to ensure investments align to industry priorities by aligning investments to each industry’s Strategic Investment Plan (see page 14 for more on the SIPs). SIAPs are tasked with advising Hort Innovation on investments that meet the priorities of that particular industry by debating and validating potential investment concepts and ideas. The SIAPs provide a vital link between meeting the priorities of industry and helping Hort Innovation to make decisions on how, where and when investments need to be made. The collective knowledge, experience and insights from each panellist are coupled with that of the Hort Innovation team in this deliberate partnership approach that is the cornerstone of how Hort Innovation invests levy monies. With over 300 technically skilled, industry focused and sector-specific stakeholders as panellists, SIAPs are well equipped to provide broad sector, transparent investment advice.
For the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative funds, a similar advisory mechanism is in place. Expert Advisory Panels (EAPs) work with Hort Innovation to guide the investments in each of the seven Hort Frontiers funds.
All EAPs feature a broad cross-section of specialist representatives, including growers, subject matter professionals, and state government experts. Tasked with providing that link and partnership approach between Hort Innovation and industry experts, the EAPs are a vital ingredient in advising on investments within the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative.
To best guide the discussions around trade and market access investments, Hort Innovation convenes meetings with specialist trade panels, of which there are three: Trade Assessments Panel (TAP); industry Trade Advisory Panel (iTAP); and nut industry Trade Advisory Panel (niTAP). These panels are tasked with providing advice to Hort Innovation on a range of trade related matters, export requirements and new market opportunities. Issues specific to market access are relayed to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for consideration.
Strategic Investment Plans – guiding the investments in each levy industry
A Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) is the roadmap that helps guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of individual levy industry investment programs. The SIP lays the foundation for decision making in levy investments and represents the balanced interest of the particular industry that levy is collected from. The very important function of the SIP is to make sure that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities. The SIP is used to guide the SIAPs and assist Hort Innovation prioritise and implement the specific industry R&D, extension and marketing investments programs.
To refresh or re-establish the individual industry SIPs, Hort Innovation partnered with industry. Developing the SIPs was a process of consultation, validation, and drafting. More than 100 meetings and events were convened to showcase drafts of the industry SIPs and to collect advice from growers. The Industry Representative Bodies (IRBs) were instrumental in helping Hort Innovation run the consultative process – a real partnership that ensured growers were informed, involved and empowered to have a voice in the strategic investment priorities of their industry. As a result, most individual industries now have a new document that is the foundation for investment advice, specific to that industry. The targeted investment outcomes focus only on those priorities that address the biggest opportunities to make each sector more productive, profitable or competitive.