Horticulture Australia to conduct structural review

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Horticulture Australia to conduct structural review

Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) aims to maximize returns from grower levies with the help of a structural review, analyzing issues ranging from membership structure to the effectiveness of service delivery. fruit generic small

The review is required under HAL's Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) and must be completed by May 2014.

In a release, HAL chairman Selwyn Snell said his organization had played a key role R&D and marketing to support the sector's growth, but there was still room for improvement.

"During the past 12 years the industry’s value has tripled to AUD$9 billion (US$8.3 billion) and HAL's members have more than doubled to 43. The growth of HAL has led to a structure that is complex," he said.

"We invest around AUD$100 million (US$92 million) annually in programs across 43 industries, from levies collected through more than 100 different methods. We want to improve our structure to one that is more effective and easier to understand.

"We want to examine how we can make growers’ levies work harder."

The performance review will cover governance practice, membership structure, the nature and transparency of funding arrangements, the efficiency and effectiveness of meeting the industry's strategic demands, the efficiency of levy structure and the levy process.

The release said the review would be undertaken by an independent organization yet to be appointed, with a steering committee involving levy payers, HAL members, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), HAL and Rural Research & Development Corporation experts.

The release pointed to a need to expand horticulture exports and apply emerging technologies to raise productivity and adapt to climate change.

"The environment in which horticulture now operates is very different to what it was when our constitution and business model was formed 12 years ago," Snell said.

"In the absence of services previously provided by governments we’re being asked to do more – as a result we need make sure we’ve the got right settings to meet this demand.

"If you want to stay competitive and make the most of future and emerging opportunities, none of us can afford to keep doing things the way we did yesterday.




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