The Blueberry Industry Voluntary Levy System

The Blueberry industry currently has a voluntary levy in place

Unlike most other horticulture industries, the Australian Blueberry industry operates a voluntary levy system for commercial growers to contribute to and it is this fund which pays for all of the promotional activities designed to help to grow the demand domestically for fresh Australian blueberries, the inmvestments into research and devlopment, as well as other industry priorities like export market access.

In late 2019, a Collective Industry Fund (CIF) arrangement was agreed with Hort Innovation to allow the research and development component of the levy collected by the ABGA, voluntarily paid by some growers, to receive matched funding from the Australian Government.

At present, the levy is only paid by a small proportion of the commercial businesses currently growing blueberries.  These companies do represent a larger share of the volume of production, but they are nonetheless shouldering the cost of industry development unfairly.

The rate of levy has recently been changed to 5c per kilo of fresh fruit sold – regardless of the sales channel.

Why should you pay the voluntary levy?

The voluntary levies fund all of the essential activities that contribute to the growth of our blueberry industry.  Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Growing the domestic market through marketing campaigns and promotions
  • Research and development into registered chemicals and Integrated Pest Management as well as Integrated Disease Management programs
  • Protecting the industry via the development and implementation of the Code of Conduct
  • Achieving export protocol into Japan – expected in 2020
  • Progressing applications for market access to China and other countries
  • Funding our Industry Development Officer
  • Funding our Executive Director and Project Officer
  • Communication and engagement with members – industry journal, e-news, website, conference
  • Promoting positive industry stories and addressing negative media
  • Providing our contribution to Hort Innovation under the Collective Industry Fund which is matched with equal funding used for various industry projects as determined by the Blueberry Strategic Industry Advisory Panel

How much levy do I have to pay?

Levies are paid at a rate of $0.05/kg fruit sold.

When do I pay the voluntary levy?

Levies are payable once every financial quarter, see table below for applicable dates:

Quarter

Period Covered

Payable by

Q1

1 Jul – 30 Sep

31 Oct

Q2

1 Oct – 31 Dec

31 Jan

Q3

1 Jan – 31 Mar

30 Apr

Q4 1 Apr – 30 Jun

31 July

How do I pay the levy?

Follow the steps below:

1. Prepare a statement with the following information

  • Grower Name
  • Quarter and dates (e.g. Q2 1st Oct – 31st Dec 2019)
  • Number of kg fruit sold in that quarter
  • Amount of levy being paid
  • Indicate if your agent deducts your levies (if so, include name of agent)

2. Email the statement to the Membership Officer (admin@berries.net.au) who will send you an invoice for payment

3. Pay your levy to the ABGA account as indicated on the invoice you receive

Please ensure that you include a reference: GROWER NAME and Financial Quarter (e.g. “Joe Bloggs Q2 levy”)

My agent deduct levies – what do I need to do?

Send the Membership Officer a statement as per steps 1 & 2 above.

She will then check that the agent has paid the levy.

What about confidentiality of the information provided?

Any information provided will be kept entirely confidential and is only collected for the purposes of adminstering the voluntary levy collection process.

I need help, who do I contact?

Complete the form below to get assistance from the Membership Officer

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