Hort Innovation Strategy 2024-2026 provides a roadmap for Hort Innovation investments over the next three years with focus on growth, export and sustainability

Hort Innovation has unveiled Hort Innovation Strategy 2024-2026 a new strategic plan for the next three years shaped by priories such as high industry growth, an appetite for expanded trade and increasing sustainability.

The strategy was informed by feedback from growers across the nation through farm visits, surveys and advice garnered through industry advisory panels and meetings. The strategy also considers the strategic investment plans of 37 levy-paying industries and growth projections for the A$16 bn horticulture sector, revealed in resources such as the recently released Contribution of Australian horticulture industry report.

Providing a roadmap for Hort Innovation investments over the next three years, the Strategy is anchored on the grower-owned research and development corporation’s vision of ‘A prosperous and sustainable Australian horticulture industry built on innovation’.

Hort Innovation chair Julie Bird said the strategy reflects horticulture growers’ priorities, and the organisation is fully committed to working with industry to achieve its objectives.

“The value of Australian horticulture is projected to surge by up to 22.5 per cent by 2030,” Bird said.
“Equipping growers with the necessary tools to manage this remarkable growth is of utmost importance. We are attuned to the needs expressed by growers, and Hort Innovation is actively adapting to address them.  
“We have a new strategy and a new structure that supports Australian horticulture to grow more, sell more, and get bang-for-buck from levy investments. These changes position us to get ahead of key issues in  partnership with industry and to work together on larger, transformative projects.” 

Strategy 2024-2026 outlines the roles Hort Innovation will play in advancing Australian horticulture.

It will enhance and safeguard the supply of Australian horticulture by partnering with industry to address its sustainability priorities and support social and environmental stewardship, as well as pear-heading world-class innovation and fortifying the industry against potential disruptions in the supply chain.

Hort Innovation will work to accelerate local and global demand for Australian fruit, vegetables, nuts, nursery plants and turf by driving efforts to access and expand high-value markets, stimulating consumption, providing data-driven decision-making tools, and exploring innovative approaches to utilising waste for generating new revenue streams.

Hort Innovation will also aim to maximise and diversify the investments it makes on behalf of growers by building strategic partnerships to deliver bigger, bolder investments, a new flexible investment framework for research partners and continuing to partner with industry to deliver impact at scale.

Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield said the new strategy builds upon Hort Innovation’s progress over the past year, and emphasised a thriving internal culture and removing operational complexities.

“We have made changes internally, including a new Industry Service and Delivery team which consolidates our partnerships, adoption and investment work,” he said. “We have also restructured our business so that production-related R&D and sustainability work are in the same team, and our biosecurity R&D projects sit alongside our international trade efforts.

“In partnership with industry, these changes position us to get ahead of key issues and work together on larger, transformative projects.”