Levy Funded Projects

Supporting research and industry development

An industry levy is collected from all Australian macadamia growers to raise the necessary funding for research and industry development and marketing – projects which are essential for ensuring the macadamia industry remains a strong and successful industry now and into the future.

For a full list of levy-funded projects, download the Macadamia Fund Annual Report below.

About the levy

The levy has been the single most important driver of the growth of the Australian macadamia industry. Unlike many other new rural industries that emerged around the 1980s, the macadamia industry understood the need to invest in its development and future, and today, growers and industry participants continue to benefit from the research, marketing and industry development made possible by the levy. The industry is now worth $286.5 million (farmgate), $321 million (ex-factory) and $576 million (retail). It is Australia’s second largest horticultural export.

The levy is mandatory and is paid through processors and the Australian Government to Hort Innovation, an all-of- horticulture, grower-owned company that administers the expenditure of levies, guided by the macadamia industry’s Strategic Investment Plan.

During the 2016/17 period, more than $2.19 million was invested into R&D for the macadamia industry including 16 new projects. The macadamia fund supported a strong new integrated pest management program and fresh work to improve nut harvesting, as well as the ongoing development of new varieties and research into diseases management. In marketing, more than $2.52 million was invested into activities to build consumer awareness and consumption of macadamias both domestically and overseas. Read the Macadamia Fund Annual Report for more info.

Successful projects funded by the levy

The levy has been responsible for many success stories including:

  • Improved control and treatment of husk spot and lace bug.
  • The development of ‘Mactrix’ to control macadamia nutborer, one of the most successful biological controls in Australian horticulture, that allowed the macadamia industry to have one of the highest rates of adoption of Integrated Pest Management.
  • The development of new orchard management practices which are driving productivity to help meet growing demand:
  • - Integrated orchard management (IOM) - integrated management of canopy, orchard floor and drainage to drive production, minimise erosion, improve machinery access and improve light into the orchard.

    - Integrated orchard nutrition (ION) - increasing organic matter to achieve the right nutrient balance and optimise soil moisture

    - Integrated pest and disease management (IPM)- simultaneous management of multiple key pests using a number of different techniques.

  • Publications, grower meetings and conferences that have spread the message and led to wider adoption of the very latest best practice methods.
  • Macadamias were one of the first industries to commit to regular residue testing through the National Residue Service and a special purpose levy. This program has shown the industry has a record of 20 consecutive years of 100% compliance with all relevant residue standards and many years of no recorded residues. This is a record the Australian Government calls “exemplary” and is unique across the global nut sector. It is one of the reasons that Australian kernel attracts a premium of up to 25% in global markets.

Several other levy-funded projects are laying foundations for further growth to ensure our industry remains at the forefront of world production.

  • Small Tree High Productivity initiative - trialling higher density plantings, trellising, limb bending and dwarf rootstock with the aim of boosting crop yield per hectare.
  • Pollination advances - increasing pollination through variety selection and planting, and increasing pollinators.
  • 20-year $10 million breeding program - four new varieties set for release in 2018. Trees are bred for increased and faster yields, higher pest and disease resistance and more manageable canopies.

More about levy-funded activity in the macadamia industry

For more information on new, ongoing and recently completed levy-funded activity in the macadamia industry, visit the Hort Innovation website and also make sure you read each edition of HORTLINK for project updates, results and resources you can use in your business, plus case studies, industry contacts and more. Hort Innovation members will receive an alert when each issue of HORTLINK is released, and a link to the latest publication is always available on the Hort Innovation website.

Looking for a levy-funded research report, article, presentation or case study?

Visit the Industry Resources section of this website, where you can find levy-funded research reports, articles, videos, case studies, fact sheets, presentations and so much more!

Any questions?

Hort Innovation Industry Strategic Partner Georgia Sheil is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Macadamia Fund program. Georgia can be reached on 02 8295 2340 or email georgia.sheil@horticulture.com.au


Macadamia Strategic Investment Plan 2022-2026

This plan will guide Hort Innovation’s strategic investment of the industry levy, ensuring investment decisions align with industry priorities.


Macadamia Fund Annual Report 2021-2022

Key project information from the year, including marketing campaign spotlights and grower case studies on levy investments.


Proudly Supported By

Supported by Hort Innovation and Macadamia Fund

This website has been partly funded by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.