The Coles Nurture Fund is now accepting applications from Australian producers and manufacturers for financial assistance in the development of innovative, market-leading products as well as environmentally friendly procedures and innovations.
The Coles Nurture Fund has started a new round, allowing small and medium-sized enterprises to apply for awards of up to $500,000.
Businesses with original concepts, less than 50 full-time employees, and annual revenue of under $25 million are eligible to apply.
Sally Fielke, General Manager of Corporate and Indigenous Affairs for the Coles Group, claimed that the fund assisted Australian producers in bringing their concepts to life.
Since 2015, more than 90 Australian producers have received financial support from the Coles Nurture Fund totaling more than $30 million. This support has enabled the producers to upgrade their infrastructure, cut waste, increase energy efficiency, and instal new machinery to handle higher volumes of fresh produce, according to Sally.
“This year, we aim to make it easier for more companies to fund initiatives that foster innovation and enhance environmentally friendly practises at their farms and facilities.”
The Coles Nurture Fund has previously provided funding for initiatives like a vacuum truck to gather manure for the creation of renewable energy, Australia’s first quinoa processing plant, and a cutting-edge factory to grow grass indoors.
According to Tony Mahar, CEO of the National Farmers Federation, innovation and sustainability are two important pillars that will support the farm sector’s success in the future.
As we work toward our goal of being Australia’s next $100 billion industry, Tony remarked, “the farm sector in Australia has such great potential ahead of us.”
We know that sustainability and innovation are essential to the future of Australian agriculture, therefore it’s wonderful to see that this funding is assisting farmers in doing so.
Endhill, a producer of beef in Victoria, was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund in 2018 to purchase cutting-edge equipment that can gather lucerne from paddocks and turn it into pellets for cattle. The pellets can be fed to cattle as a supplement to grass because they are simpler to handle and store than hay bales.
Dane Martin, general manager of Endhill Pty Ltd, urged other Australian growers to submit applications to the Coles Nurture Fund.
We probably wouldn’t have been able to start this initiative without the Coles Nurture Fund. If other producers have a creative idea or a strategy to build a more sustainable business, I would definitely encourage them to submit an application for the Coles Nurture programme.
To apply for Round 11 of the Coles Nurture Fund, log onto www.coles.com.au/nurturefund . Applications close at 5pm AEST on Friday, 24 February 2023