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Call for feedback on Strawberry Strategic Investment Plan

The draft Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the strawberry industry is now available! The draft document has been published online by Hort Innovation, and you have until Thursday, February 9, 2017 to respond.

To read the draft SIP and provide comment through the simple online form, visit Hort Innovation’s strawberry grower page.

You can also provide feedback direct to Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Bradley Mills on 0408 635 465
What is the SIP?
The final industry SIP will be used to help guide Hort Innovation’s strategic investment of the strawberry levy, ensuring that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities. The SIP outlines the priorities of the industry and represents a balanced view of the Australian strawberry industry.

How will it be used?
The SIP will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the strawberry industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) in providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
What is the SIAP?
The strawberry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel's (SIAP) key function is to provide transparent and robust strategic investment advice to Hort Innovation – helping guide the way the industry levy and Australian Government contributions are put to use.   The strawberry SIAP is made up of panelists, with the majority being levy-paying growers.  Appointments are based on skills criteria, geographic and sectorial diversity.   Click here to see the list of panellists and to access summary notes from the strawberry SIAP’s meetings to date.
How do ideas get to the SIAP?
Anyone is welcome to submit an idea for a potential industry project. To submit an idea, use Hort Innovation’s Concept Proposal Form.
Any questions?
Contact Bradley Mills at Hort Innovation on 0408 635 465.
Changes to the 'Backpacker Tax'

From 1 January 2017, tax rates changed for working holiday makers in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa.  Commonly referred to as the 'Backpacker Tax', these rates are known as working holiday maker tax rates.

If you are employing working holiday makers on a 417 or 462 visa as of the 1 January this year, you must register with the ATO by the 31 January, 2017 to withhold the working holiday maker tax rate of 15% from every dollar earned up to $37,000.

For further details on the changes to the tax and to register your business, visit the ATO website here.

Penalties may apply if you employ working holiday makers but fail to register with the ATO.
Invitation to unique agritourism trial!
Visit My Farm is a new business idea to strengthen the connection between rural and urban people, grow farm visits, and provide a new agri-tourism income stream for farmers.
Registration for Phase One of the trial is open until the 24th January, 2017.  The new venture, developed by two DPI staff as part of an Australian Futures project, is looking for all types of farmers (big and small!) who may like to become a host.  Additional information, including details on how to register is available here.
Consumer insight research out of Driscoll's - eating berries makes you happy!
Driscoll’s have used consumer research across North America, Europe, Australia and China to drive their new emotion-driven global brand strategy.  According to consumer survey’s conducted by the company, summarized in the below infographic and short video, more than 85% of consumers agree that eating berries makes them happy.
Driscoll’s is using this information to promote their berries as an emotional product, directly linked to a feeling of happiness and joy.  Additionally, Driscoll’s is working on the strategy that there is a huge untapped potential for berries. According to the company,  berries turn out to be even bigger than bananas and oranges in value in a number of European countries.
More details available here.
Greenhouse Growers Toolbox App
The Greenhouse Growers Toolbox 1.0.2 has been developed by Graeme Smith Consulting for commercial and hobby greenhouse or hydroponic growers for everyday system design or management use.

The complete App includes a suite of 12 calculators for protected cropping structures, with 5 of the 12 greenhouse calculators available in a free ‘Lite’ version.  Calculators available in the 'Lite' version include volume and area, dripper timings and volumes, acid/product dosing, radiation and light units and common elemental conversions. Click here for more information on the App. 
Queensland Strawberry Growers Association AGM
Tuesday, 7th February 2017
Caboolture Sports Club from 7pm
Strawberry Strategic Investment Plan Comments DUE
Thursday, 9th February 2017
Click here for more information, or contact Bradley Mills at Hort Innovation on 0408 635 465.
Queensland Strawberry Industry Women's Wellness Weekend
10 - 11 February, 2017
Surfair Conference and Events Centre, Marcoola

This new inaugural initiative is designed to provide an opportunity for the women of the industry to meet and build a network of peers who understand both the challenges and rewards of farming.
Further information is available here or contact Jen Rowling, 0438 752 177 by Friday 3rd February to RSVP.
Hort Connections
15-17 May, 2017
Adelaide Convention Centre

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Hort Connections.  Combining the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections, Hort Connections is set to become the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry.
For further details and to register click here.
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