An introduction to the RDCs

There are 15 Rural RDCs that work across the industry, which work on a joint model of government and industry funding. The RDCs commission research on behalf of primary producers, some processors and the Government.

There are a mixed of statutory bodies and industry-owned companies:


  1. Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  2. Grains Research and Development Corporation
  3. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
  4. Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
  5. Sugar Research and Development Corporation (now Sugar Research Australia and is industry-owned)
  6. Australian Grape and Wine Authority (now Wine Australia)


  1. Forest and Wood Products Australia
  2. Dairy Australia Limited
  3. Australian Wool Innovation Limited
  4. Meat and Livestock Australia
  5. Australian Egg Corporation Limited
  6. Horticulture Innovation Australia
  7. Australian Pork Limited
  8. Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  9. Livecorp Limited

Statutory Corporations



History: Statutory authority established by the Australian Government in 1990. The CRDC is based in Narrabri, NSW.
Key responsibilities: support the performance of the cotton industry by investing in RD&E. 
Funding: Partnership of co-investment between Australian cotton growers and the Australian Government. The cotton industry R&D levy (excluding GST) is $2.25 per 227 kilogram bale of cotton. Cotton levy revenue is collected at the point of ginning, that is, when cotton has been picked and delivered to cotton gins. The Australian Government contributes matching funds up to a limit of 0.5 per cent of industry Gross Value of Production (Annual Report, 2014)
Why would you access this site?: Access tools available to growers, myBMPCottonInfo and CottASSIST.



History: Statutory corporation founded in 1990. 
Key responsibilities: "Drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the industry and the wider community" (GRDC website).
Funding: "GRDC is principally funded by a grower levy and Australian Government contributions. The levy is based on the net farm gate value of the annual production of 25 crops. The Australian Government’s contribution is determined annually, based on the three-year rolling average of the gross value of production of the 25 leviable crops (GRDC website).
Why would you access this site?: Access the wide range of GRDC-funded R&D projects through their search tool.



History: Based in Canberra, the FRDC was formed as a statutory corporation on 2nd July 1991.
Key responsibilities: "Plan and invest in fisheries research, development and extension (RD&E) activities in Australia. This includes providing leadership and coordination of the monitoring, evaluating and reporting on RD&E activities, facilitating dissemination, extension and commercialisation" (FRDC website).
Membership: Free to over 47,500 livestock levy-paying producers of cattle, sheepmeat and/or goats.
Funding: Australian Government and contributions revenue from the Commonwealth and state-based fisheries. 
Why would you access this site?: Browse the FRDC final research reports and learn about more about our aquatic environment.



History: Statutory authority established in 1989, based in Canberra.
Key responsibilities: "To invest in research and development that is adopted and assists rural industries to be productive, profitable and sustainable" (RIRDC website). Their goals, focused on rural Australia, are to promote leadership and innovation, increase profit and productivity and ensure sector sustainability.
Funding: Australian Government and a number of levy funded industries (including rice, chicken meat, honeybee and small animal industries), which are managed as stand alone programs.
Why would you access this site?: Access the RIRDC Animal Industries, Plant Industries and Rural People Research programs.



History: In 2011, the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) and BSES Limited will be wound-up and their assets and R&D functions, along with the research coordination activities of Sugar Research Limited, transferred to the industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA) (Commonwealth of Australia Explanatory Memoranda). The SRA is now an industry-owned company.
Key responsibilities: "To ensure the best possible outcomes at an industry, regional and individual level.  We’ll be doing this by conducting and funding research as well as by providing our members with resources, tools and information that will assist in each step of the sugarcane growing and milling process" (SRA website).
Funding: Based on a statutory levy paid by grower and milling businesses, the Commonwealth government matching funds and grants from the Queensland Government and other bodies. The statutory levy, which came into force on 1 July 2013, is 70 cents per tonne of cane, with both grower and milling businesses each contributing 35 cents per tonne of cane. 
Why would you access this site?: Access the SRA e-library and the SRA Trial Tracker to find out about research projects and trials. 



History:  Commonwealth statutory authority established under the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act 2013 that commenced on 1 July 2014. The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), trading as Wine Australia, is the single Australian Government statutory service body for the Australian grape and wine community.   
Key responsibilities: "Supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing global demand and protecting the reputation of Australian wine"
Funding: Funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges, and by the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments. We have four primary sources of funding.
Why would you access this site?: Access WineFacts — "an online resource for the Australian wine community to access global wine sector intelligence" — and reports on their completed projects.




History: The Forest and Wood Products Council was formed in November 2000. The company, FWPA, was declared in 2007 to be the industry services body.
Key responsibilities: "Committed to helping the forest and wood products industry to be collaborative, innovative, sustainable and competitive against other industries and products available in the marketplace" (FWPA website).
Funding: Statutory funding agreement under which it receives industry levies (food processors, forest growers, and Australian importers of forest products) and matching funds from the Australian Government.
Why would you access this site?: Access their resources, processing and market access reports, and industry statistics.



History: Dairy Australia was declared as the industry-owned body that invests in marketing, research and development on behalf of the dairy industry on 1 July 2003.
Key responsibilities: Dairy Australia acts "as the ‘investment arm’ of the industry, investing in projects that can’t be done efficiently by individual farmers or companies" (DA website).
Funding: A "combination of levy, government and leveraged funds: $34 million – Dairy Services Levy, paid by farmers based on milk production; $19 million – the Government supports dairy by matching payments for eligible R&D. Dairy Australia also attracts funding at project level from state governments, universities, research organisations and other dairy support organisations: $20-30 million annually." (DA website).
Why would you access this site?: Where do we start?! Access animal management, pastures and feeding and business/financial resources, as well as a broad range of industry and market information.



History: Established in 2001 under the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation (AWRAP). Separated to become an independent company in 2001 and purchased the Woolmark brand in 2007.
Key responsibilities: invest in research, development, marketing and promotion of wool.
Funding: Not-for-profit company owned by over 29,000 wool levy payers who have registered as AWI shareholders.
Why would you access this site?: Access market intelligence (weekly and monthly reports, production forecasts, sheep numbers and survey reports), on-farm research and development reports and results, events and education opportunities, and tools for woolgrowers



History: Declared marketing, research and development body under the Australian Meat & Livestock Industry Act 1997.
Key responsibilities: market access, growing demand, increasing productivity across supply chain, supporting industry integrity and sustainability.
Funding: A proportion of transaction levies paid on livestock sales by producers. Australian Government matches dollar for dollar MLA spending on R&D.
Why would you access this site?: Access the latest price and market information, research and development reports, and livestock production information.



History: The AECL commenced operations on 1 February 2003 as a public, non-listed company. 
Key responsibilities: "Is an Industry Services Body (ISB) or provider of marketing and Research & Development (R&D) services for the benefit of all stakeholders, principally egg producers." "AECL is not an industry representative body." (AECL website)
Funding: Funded predominately through statutory levies, collected under the Egg Industry Service Provision Act 2002, and Australian government funds
Why would you access this site?: Access completed research projects and consumer research reports.



History: Established in 2014 followed an independent review of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) in 2014. It is a not-for-profit, grower-owned RDC.
Key responsibilities: "HIA strives to increase the productivity, farm gate profitability and global competitiveness of Australia’s horticulture industries." (HIA website)
Funding: HIA currently has an interim funding model that sets out two pools of co-investment with Commonwealth funding. The first is industry statutory and voluntary levies and the second is strategic funds.
Why would you access this site?: Access published final reports.



History: Australian Pork Limited (APL) brings together three legacy organisations: the Australian Pork Corporation; the Pig Research and Development Corporation; and the Pork Council of Australia. Following industry consultation, APL was formally registered as a company on 23 May 2000.
Key responsibilities: "Aims to enhance opportunities for the sustainable growth of the Australian pork industry by delivering integrated marketing, innovation and policy services along the pork industry supply chain." (APL website)
Funding: APL is primarily through statutory pig slaughter levies, with additional research specific funds provided by the Australian Government. The current levies are $1.95 Marketing levy, $1.00 per carcase Research & Development (R&D) levy; and $0.175 National Residue Survey (NRS) (APL website).
Why would you access this site?: Understand the different types of pig farming production, facts and figures relating to the industry, completed research reports, and much more!



History: The Australian Meat Processor Corporation was declared to be the Red Meat Processor Marketing and Research body the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997 in 2007.
Key responsibilities: "AMPC's mandate is to provide research, development and extension (RD&E) services that improve the sustainability and efficiency of the sector." (AMPC website)
Funding: Red meat slaughter levies on beef and livestock (cattle, bobby calf, sheep, lambs and goats) slaughter are payable by processors for each animal slaughtered at an abattoir for human consumption. (AMPC website)
Why would you access this site?: Access the reports library, and a number of online resources for members (including webinar and yard design)



History: Established as a service provider for the livestock export industry in 1998 following a restructure of industry institutional arrangements.
Key responsibilities: animal health and welfare, supply chain efficiency, market access, RD&E.
Funding: Statutory levies collected from livestock exporters.
Why would you access this site?: Access research information and results related to exporting livestock.