Peak body Avocados Australia is proposing changes to the industry’s national avocado levy to provide additional resources for biosecurity management through Plant Health Australia.
All commercial growers pay the levy, which funds research and development (R&D) projects and marketing activities.
The industry also has a number of biosecurity obligations that it must meet, which are currently resourced by Avocados Australia and its members.
“Strong biosecurity is vital for our industry but it doesn’t get much exposure unless there is a problem,” said Avocados Australia’s chief executive John Tyas said.
"Our board of directors has agreed to this levy proposal because it recognises the importance of the avocado industry meeting its biosecurity commitments on an ongoing basis and that appropriate resources need to be in place to achieve this.”
The current levy on fresh avocados is set at 7.5 cents per kg, split between R&D (3 cents per kg) and marketing (4.5 cents per kg). Avocados Australia is proposing to reduce the R&D levy on fresh avocados by 0.1 of a cent per kg (3.33 per cent) and divert this to a Plant Health Australia levy for biosecurity.
"This means that there will be absolutely no change to the total levy paid,” Tyas explained. “It is important we demonstrate to the Australian government that the majority of avocado levy payers support this change.”
Avocados Australia has circulated a survey to all registered growers to gain an indication whether they support this change or not.