Increased levy boosts R&D, biosecurity
Citrus levies will increase by $1.50 per tonne from July 1 to raise additional funding for research and development and bolster biosecurity.
Australian citrus growers agreed to support an increase in both the Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) citrus R&D levy and the Plant Health Australia biosecurity citrus levy in a national levy poll in 2014.
As a result, the R&D levy has been raised from $1.97 per tonne to $3.20 per tonne and the biosecurity citrus levy from $0.03 per tonne to $0.30 per tonne – a total increase of $1.50 per tonne.
Citrus Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Judith Damiani said the rise signals an important new chapter for the Australian citrus industry.
“For almost two decades the citrus industry has been operating on the same level of investment. Inflation alone has meant the program investment has gone backwards,” Judith said.
“The additional funds will help the citrus industry to access more export markets; better manage pests like fruit fly and protect orchards from exotic pests.
“Increased investment in R&D and biosecurity will also strengthen the industry’s position as a high quality, safe, premium supplier of fruit and juice into the growing affluent Asian middle class.”