A statutory industry levy is collected from all Australian macadamia growers to raise the necessary funding for research and industry development and marketing. Projects funded by the levy are essential for ensuring the macadamia industry remains strong and successful now and into the future.
About the statutory levy
Introduced on 1 April 1992, the Australian macadamia levy is payable on all macadamias produced within Australia and either sold by the producer or used by the producer in the production of other goods. The levy is mandatory and is paid through Australian processors and the Australian Government. Levy funds are then managed by Hort Innovation, an all-of-horticulture, grower-owned company, which works with industry to invest in strategic R&D and marketing activities.
Currently, the macadamia statutory levy is 25.21c/kg of dried kernel and is allocated as follows:
- marketing – 16.01c/kg
- research and development – 8.57c/kg
- national residue testing – 0.63c/kg.
Projects funded by the R&D levy attract additional contributions from the Australian Government using public funds. Marketing projects are not eligible for these additional contributions.
At times, an industry may be required to pay an additional levy to meet its financial responsibilities following a biosecurity or other event. As an example, an Emergency Plant Pest Response levy of 0.20c/kg was charged to 31 December 2020 to meet the Australian macadamia industry’s contribution to managing an outbreak of varroa mite, a parasitic insect affecting bees and therefore crop pollination.
More information on the macadamia levy and charges, including rates, individual levy returns, exemptions and key contacts can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website here.
Macadamia Fund investment decision process
All funds collected through the macadamia levy are pooled into the Macadamia Fund managed by Hort Innovation in consultation with industry and guided by strategic and annual investment plans.
Strategic and annual investment plans
Australian macadamia levy investments into R&D and marketing activities are guided by the industry’s Strategic Investment Plan 2022-2026 (SIP) and the Annual Investment Plan (AIP). The SIP provides an overarching, five-year roadmap for industry to follow, and the AIP details how the levy funds will be spent each year to achieve these strategic goals.
More information about the management of the Macadamia Fund, including development of the SIP and AIP, can be found on the Hort Innovation Fund Management website page.
Strategic Investment Advisory Panel
The macadamia Strategic Investment Panel (SIAP) consists of industry supply-chain stakeholders including levy-paying macadamia growers and the AMS as the industry representative body. The SIAP provides feedback on potential investments aligned with the SIP and is a key component of Hort Innovation’s grower consultation process in prioritising levy investments.
More information on the SIAP, including panel meetings, summaries and members, can be found at the bottom of this page. To become involved in the macadamia SIAP, see the Macadamia Fund key contact details below.
Macadamia Fund annual reports
Hort Innovation publish an annual report which provides key project information, including marketing campaign spotlights and grower case studies on levy investments that have made an impact. Read the latest report here.
Submit an investment area
Suggestions on investment areas that align with the SIP are invited from growers and other industry stakeholders and may be submitted at any time through the Hort Innovation online investment idea form. Submissions and suggestions are reviewed by Hort Innovation to ensure they align with industry needs before being progressed.
Successful projects funded by the levy
The levy has been an important driver of the growth of the Australian macadamia industry and has been responsible for a range of improvements:
Disease and pest management
Improved understanding, control and treatment of diseases (Phytophthora) and pests (husk spot and lace bug), and the development of Mactrix, a biological pest control for macadamia nut borer that has resulted in a high industry adoption rate of integrated pest management.
Orchard management practices
- 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 and diseases using several different control techniques.
Pollination and plant breeding
- Increased pollination through variety selection and planting and increasing pollinators.
- Small Tree High Productivity initiative - trialling higher density plantings, trellising, limb bending and dwarf rootstock with the aim of boosting crop yield per hectare.
- 20-year $10 million breeding program - four new varieties released in 2018. Trees are bred for higher and earlier yields, higher pest and disease resistance and more manageable canopies.
Industry benchmarking and crop forecasting
- Since 2009, the industry’s benchmarking project has supported improved productivity and profitability through the collection, analysis and summary of farm yield, quality and production cost trends. From 2023, the project will include a sustainability pilot and on-farm crop loss assessments providing invaluable information to growers, processors, consultants, investors and other industry stakeholders.
- Both yearly and future-looking forecasts have allowed for improved decision-making for macadamia businesses and the wider industry. Forecasting provides information needed to maintain market confidence and price stability, and allows for better scheduling of processing and informed infrastructure planning to meet future production increases and industry expansion.
National residue testing
Conducted by the National Residue Service and funded by a special-purpose levy, the Australian macadamia industry has logged more than 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.
Publications, resources and grower meetings teaching the latest best practice methods and leading to wider adoption.
Driving awareness of, and new market development for, Australian macadamias with consumers and trade audiences domestically and globally.
A full list of past and current investments can be found on the Hort Innovation website here.
Finding levy-funded research reports, articles, case studies and more
Looking to read 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!
Macadamia Fund key contact
Hort Innovation provides an Industry Service and Delivery Manager to answer questions or provide more information on levy funded programs.
The key contact for the Macadamia Fund is:
Phone: 0439 433 885