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Financial support provided by Coles Nurture Fund reaches $30 million

Coles supports organic veg growers to help meet increasing customer demand

Coles will help to increase the availability of organic fresh produce for customers by providing grants to innovative growers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. 

The grants announced this week bring the total financial support provided by the Coles Nurture Fund to $30 million since 2015.

Coles announced this week it would provide grants to six small and medium sized businesses which are implementing plans to improve sustainability and grow Australia’s organic fresh produce industry.

Third-generation business Mt Alma Organics, located in the Burdekin Shire in North Queensland, will receive $300,000 to purchase and install specialised equipment for washing, grading and sorting produce. Not only will this enable innovative practice, it will significantly expand their production of certified organic fruit and vegetables. An associated benefit of which will be an increased capacity to employ full-time and seasonal workers, thereby having a positive and sustained impact on the local community.

Victorian family business Peninsula Fresh Organics will use a $300,000 grant to help implement its plans to transform its irrigation infrastructure at its farms at Baxter in VIC and Barham in NSW, saving 60 million litres of water per year and preventing run off of nutrients into local waterways, and to build a cool room to improve product shelf life.

Queensland producer Agricultural Networks will use a $189,000 grant to help fast-track access to organic fresh produce in key growing regions through a new dedicated organic certified packing and distribution facility at Gatton which will enable them to process increased volumes of produce from many local growers.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said Coles was proud to support new innovative and sustainable projects through the Coles Nurture Fund. 

“We’re delighted to have now awarded $30 million in financial support to more than 90 Australian producers through the Coles Nurture Fund to help drive innovation and generational sustainability on Australian farms and in production facilities,” he said.

“At Coles, we want to be the most sustainable supermarket in Australia and we’re actively working with our food, grocery and beverage partners to inspire customers and continue our sustainability journey by helping to expand local production, reduce emissions and increase recycling.”

Coles chef and ambassador Curtis Stone, who is a panellist for the Coles Nurture Fund, said all six applicants receiving grants in the latest round of funding had clearly shown that they are worthy recipients of the Nurture Fund.

“Australia produces some of the highest quality food in the world, and it’s exciting to see our Aussie farmers and producers consistently showcase innovations that contribute to a more sustainable future for our agricultural sector,” he said. 

“With this round’s applications highlighting organic produce and sustainability, it’s important that we at Coles are able to support these farmers in carrying out initiatives that will innovate and expand the Australian food sector.”

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