Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Coles awards $3.6m to Aussie producers

Coles has awarded grants of up to $500,000 to eight small and medium sized businesses from across the country to implement plans to drive sustainability and innovation.

The latest grants bring the total financial support awarded through the Coles Nurture Fund to more than $33 million across 100 businesses since the funding initiative started in 2015.

Coles Group Executive General Manager Fresh Andy Mossop says the latest round of recipients were chosen for their uniqueness and ability to achieve high impact sustainability goals to reduce emissions, enhance animal welfare, and reduce waste.

“We’re proud to be able to award more than $3.6 million to eight Aussie small and medium sized businesses as part of the latest round of the Coles Nurture Fund,” he says.

“I’m excited to see how this round of funding will help bring to life bright ideas generated by these eight businesses. From carbon neutral bananas, to freezing technology that promises to reduce food waste, this year’s recipients are proof Aussie farmers are leading the charge when it comes to innovation and sustainability.”

Coles Nurture Fund judging panellist Curtis Stone congratulates the eight successful recipients, adding they all displayed an impressive focus on protecting the planet and driving change.

“It’s encouraging to see our local Aussie farmers and producers setting benchmarks and leading innovation across many important areas of the industry,” he says. “With the environment and animal welfare at the heart of what we do at Coles, I’m encouraged to learn more about how our locals are making a difference.”

The recipients

  • Bartle Frere Bananas in Queensland will use a grant of $445,000 which will be used to invest in new technologies including the ability to calculate real-time greenhouse gas emissions on the family owned and operated farm.
  • Indigenous-owned family business Walaja Raw Bush Honey will use its grant of $330,000 to create a new, medicinal grade, premium Melaleuca honey that is sustainably made on Yawuru Country in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia.
  • Tasmania’s Esperance Bay Orchards will receive $440,000 to invest in near infrared technology that detects the internal quality of organic fruit and limits food waste by reducing rejections.
  • Food rescue charity, and Coles partner since 2011, SecondBite, will receive a $500,000 grant to purchase critical equipment for its five warehouses across Australia.
  • Edson Piggery in South Australia will use a grant of $475,000 to build a new freedom Farrowing system for the sow and piglets.
  • McCormack Farms in WA was awarded a grant of $500,000 to construct a fully covered cattle feeding facility that will create an in-house composting system to reduce methane, nitrogen, and carbon emissions.
  • Bespoke Foods in Victoria was awarded a grant of $450,000 to install manufacturing and freezing equipment to increase capacity, enhance efficiency, expand product range, improve product quality and reduce food waste.
  • Atlas Soils in Queensland will use a $490,000 grant to help fund a new system for packaged food waste separation which diverts food and packaged waste from landfill as well as build a range of high-quality soil products.

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