The Levy System

The National Vegetable and the National Potato Levies are monies gathered from growers across Australia which fund research and development (R&D) projects with the objective to improve efficiency, product quality, sustainability and the ability to supply and respond to market needs. The levy is payable on selected vegetables and potatoes produced in Australia for either the domestic or export markets, and sold either by the producer, or used by the producer in the production of other goods.  The current rate for the levies are 0.5 per cent of the vegetables’ value at the point of sale. The levy is collected from the grower at the first point of sale by the Levies Revenue Service (LRS).  This is usually at a wholesale market or processing company.  If it is direct sale then it is collected by the retailer.  A producer who sells produce directly to consumers must submit the levy returns directly to the Levies Revenue Service (LRS).

Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) is responsible for managing industry funds and the Australian Government matches the levy dollar-for-dollar.  A common misconception is that levy funds are distributed to industry representative organisations such as AUSVEG, but this is not the case.

It is the industry’s responsibility to recommend via the Vegetable and Potato Industry Advisory Committees (IACs) how funds should be invested.  There are three separate IACs; two for vegetables and one each for fresh and processed potatoes.  The IACs are subcommittees of the HAL board and they make recommendations to HAL about which R&D projects should be funded by the levies, in accordance with industry priorities. 

AUSVEG plays an important role in the process by representing the interests of growers, however, AUSVEG’s role in the levy investment process is limited to recommending to HAL about the composition of the Vegetable and Potato Industry Advisory Committees (IAC).

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