Understanding grower levies
There is a lot of confusion around grower levies. Who are they paid to? What for? Who is spending them?
You can find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. No. Citrus Australia is a not-for-profit member organisation. Our grower members pay the citrus levy which goes to Hort Innovation, and they also pay a voluntary membership fee based on their hectares directly to Citrus Australia. Citrus Australia bids for citrus levy funding to conduct Research & Development (R&D) projects managed by Hort Innovation, and is currently administering six of these.
Emergency Plant Pest Response Levy (EPPR)
The Federal Government enacted the Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) component of the citrus levy to pay for the industry’s share of costs to the citrus canker eradication response in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
The increase took place on 1 January, 2020.
The levy was set at nil and has increased to $1.05 per tonne or 2.1 cents per 20kg box. This took effect in growers’ quarterly return in April 2020.
It means the total levy (including components for marketing for oranges, PHA and R&D) has risen from $4.25 to $5.30 per tonne for oranges in bulk; and from $3.50 to $4.55 per tonne for other citrus in bulk.
Changes to the levy rates can be seen by clicking here.
The levy will be collected at the first point of sale by the Department of Agriculture, in the same manner as other levies, at the rates previously outlined.
The Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) permits the Australian Government to, at industry request, underwrite the industry contribution to an emergency response through the EPPR levy. More details about this type of levy can be found here.
The Department of Agriculture has estimated the cost for the eradication program to December 2020, will be approximately $20 million. Industry’s component will be approximately $3.7m and take approximately five years to repay based on annual production of 715,000 tonnes.
Click here for the Plant Health Australia website to find information on the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed information.
R&D / Biosecurity Levies
The citrus R&D levy is $3.20/t and the PHA biosecurity levy is $0.30/t.
For more information go to Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Levy
Commercial citrus growers pay an R&D levy of $3.20/t on all citrus and $0.75/t for marketing on oranges only.
Plant Health Australia (PHA)
Commercial citrus growers pay the Plant Health Australia levy at a rate of $0.30 per tonne which is collected at the first point of sale (see below for further information on how levies are collected).
This levy contributes to a citrus biosecurity program and the membership of Plant Health Australia (PHA), who coordinates and develops initiatives at a national level. As PHA members include most major industries, the Australian Government and all state/territory governments, PHA provides plant industry with value by providing a unique, effective and coordinated means of contributing to policy making and direction setting on major plant health issues.
Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment collects the levies and remits them to the appropriate services body (Hort Innovation or PHA).
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