Woolworths has invested more than $2 million in grants to 24 dairy farms across Australia to support innovation, efficiency, and seasonal resilience.
The inaugural round of the Woolworths Dairy Innovation Fund has awarded grants up to $100,000 to farmers for future focused projects.
With this season delivering the best conditions many dairies have seen in recent years (‘Dairy Australia Situation & Outlook Report 2021’, Woolworths says the projects to be funded show a concerted focus on investments that will shore up farms to withstand future seasonal challenges.
Close to 500 applications were received from farmers, spanning dairy regions, supply relationships and a wide array of projects. The calibre of submissions, according to Woolworths, demonstrated the thoughtful strategic planning underway on dairy farms across the country as the industry continues to invest in a prosperous, resilient future.
Woolworths Director of Buying Paul Harker says the retailer is delighted to have the opportunity to support the drive and ambition of future focused Australian dairy farmers.
“The applications show Australian dairy farmers have their eyes firmly fixed on the sustainable future of the industry and are keen to invest in new technology and infrastructure to build thriving farms for generations to come,” he says.
“The first round of the fund comes in a promising dairy season, with favourable operating conditions. This makes it a particularly good time to invest because it will help set these dairies up to prosper through the seasonal challenges that have always been a part of Australian farming.”
The Dairy Innovation Fund was designed in consultation with peak industry groups Australian Dairy Farmers, Dairy Australia, National Farmers’ Federation, Premium Milk and the NSW Farmers’ Association Dairy Committee.
The fund, claims Woolworths, will invest a total of $5 million in around 60 businesses over the next three years. Yearly grant application rounds will be open to all dairy farmers in the retailer’s supply chain. This includes those supplying vendor brands.