Woolworths launches $30m Organic Growth Fund
Woolworths is planning to boost its range of organic produce with a $30 million fund set up to help Aussie farmers meet the growing customer demand for organic fruit and veg.
The supermarket giant expects the cash injection will result in a wider range and higher volume of quality, local organic produce for Australian shoppers.
In partnership with Heritage Bank, the Organic Growth Fund will allocate grants and interest-free loans to Australian organic fruit and vegetable growers who are looking to expand their operations or take their first steps in the burgeoning organic industry.
Through the fund, farmers will also have contracted purchase volumes to provide certainty of longer-term supply to Woolworths.
Managing director of Woolworths supermarkets, Claire Peters, said Australian customers are choosing to buy organic.
“In the last five years, demand has been growing at a rate of 20 per cent year on year in the organic produce category,” Peters said.
“With the assistance of the funds’ interest free loans and grants, we can help farmers adopt innovative approaches that will enable the range of organic fruit and vegetables on offer to grow, making it more readily available and affordable for customers.”
Fourth generation family run apple farm R&R Smith in Tasmania will be the first to benefit from the fund.
Owner and manager of R&R Smith, Andrew Smith said the support will be “instrumental” in developing a new organic apple variety and bringing it to market.