Levy payers vote for accountability at Hort Innovation

On Friday 9 October, Hort Innovation held an Extraordinary General Meeting of members to consider changes to the Hort Innovation constitution. The meeting was attended by a quorum of voting members of the company, with 92.59 per cent of votes cast being in favour of amending the constitution. The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) welcomes the overwhelming support from Australia’s fruit and vegetable growers for constitutional change at Hort Innovation.

“The overwhelming grower support for change at Hort Innovation highlights the industry demand for focussed research and development, and marketing, which supports industry’s growth targets” said Mr Michael Simonetta, Chair, AFPA.

Hort Innovation is funded by compulsory levies paid by growers, and contributions from the Commonwealth Government. The Hort Innovation constitution requires that the organisation is accountable to levy payers, investors and the Australian Government for the annual investments of up to $120 million.

“Hort Innovation plays a key role in the Australian horticulture industry by facilitating research and development investments on behalf of Australia’s horticulture producers. The 11,000 growers in the industry need investments which are focussed and commercially relevant. It is vital that Hort Innovation is accountable for the investment decisions made with grower levies and taxpayer funds” said Mr Simonetta.

Under the updated Constitution, all new Directors will be elected to the Hort Innovation Board by voting members, and the terms of new Directors will be limited to a total of six years across two terms of three years. This is a significant change, as under the previous constitution Director terms were nine years and the majority of Directors were appointed or reappointed by the existing Board, rather than via an election of voting members.

“With the new Constitution in effect, Hort Innovation members will for the first time be able elect all three new Directorsto the Board at Hort Innovation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November. As levy payers, we welcome the changes and look forward to working with a renewed Hort Innovation board and new Chair, after the November AGM” said Mr Simonetta.

For more information:
Michael Rogers
Australian Fresh Produce Alliance
Tel: +61 (0) 409 648 911

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