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Innovation and sustainability grant for SME food and beverage producers

Coles has opened a new round of the Coles Nurture Fund to provide grants of up to $500,000 for small businesses that are food and beverage producers to develop new market-leading products, processes and technologies.

Businesses with innovative and sustainable ideas, fewer than 50 full-time employees and turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply.

Since it was established in 2015, the Coles Nurture Fund has committed more than $28 million in financial support to over 80 Australian producers to help them introduce ground-breaking technology, establish new products and drive innovation and sustainability.

“At Coles, we aim to drive generational sustainability in Australia and one of the ways we believe we can do this is by funding innovative projects which make a significant difference  whether it’s increasing recycling and renewable energy, reducing water use or supporting the local production of Australian food and beverages,” Coles General Manager Corporate Affairs, Sally Fielke, said,

Previous projects funded by the fund include Australia’s first quinoa processing facility, fence posts made from recycled plastic, and a state-of-the-art factory to grow grass indoors. Last year, it provided a $455,000 grant to NSW agricultural business, Sawmill Circuit, to purchase a large vacuum truck that will collect manure from 18 dairy farms to be transported to a biogas plant which will convert the manure into renewable energy and put back into the grid.

“The support we received from the Coles Nurture Fund will make a significant difference to the way in which dairy farms in the Nowra area manage effluent,” David Ryan of Sawmill Circuit said. “I would strongly encourage other producers who have a unique plan to drive sustainability and innovation on their farm or factory to consider applying for a grant in Round 10 of the Nurture Fund.”

Applications to the Coles Nurture Fund shall be submitted through Coles’ website until 5 pm AEST on 25 February 2021.

This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Inside Small Business.

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