Up to $500,000 is available from the Coles Nurture Fund to help small Australian food and grocery producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business.
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Coles Nurture Fund
The Coles Nurture Fund supports small to medium Australian businesses that want to improve existing services or products and create new systems or processes. Through the CNF, small-to-medium businesses may apply for funding to enable them to take the next step in creating value for business and customers.
Bulletpoint assisted Harry & Larry’s Ice-cream secure $1,200,000. Based in Brunswick, Harry & Larry’s manufacture a range of specialty ice creams.
The grant will see 30 new jobs created and investment in a factory expansion with custom engineered production lines, including the latest freezing technology, to make a range of gourmet ice creams and desserts in complex shapes and layers.
Bulletpoint assisted Cottage Cheese Farm secure $765,000. Based in Glenroy, Victoria, Cottage Cheese Farm is a speciality cheese manufacturer making mainly Haloumi, Ricotta and Mozzarella cheeses.
They received funding to assist with construction of a $6M purpose built cheese and yoghurt manufacturing facility. The project will allow them to expand current operations and introduction of new product lines.
The Coles Nurture Fund is one way Coles can offer support and encouragement to small Australian businesses looking for assistance to take the next step in creating more productive and innovative ways of working.
Coles has launched an exciting initiative to assist small to medium Australian producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business.
Coles has announced the Coles Nurture Fund, and will allocate $50 million over five years intended to encourage suppliers and potential suppliers to develop new market-leading products, technologies, systems and processes.
Innovation is one of the primary drivers of competitiveness. Whether improving or developing new technologies for delivery systems, state-of-the-art refrigeration and lighting to generate better environmental outcomes, improved product quality in the farm sector or greater scale production in processed foods, the CNF seeks to support small to medium Australian businesses that want to improve existing services or products and create new systems or processes. Coles is proud to continue supporting small to medium Australian producers, farmers and manufacturers through funding allocations under the CNF.
Coles will, through the Coles Nurture Fund, allocate an aggregate total of $10,000,000 a year. Of this, $5,000,000 will be available each year for grants; $5,000,000 for interest-free loans.
The maximum single allocation of funds under the Coles Nurture Fund is $500,000.
To be eligible for funding from the Coles Nurture Fund, applicants must:
- have a turnover that is less than $25,000,000 per annum;
- employ no more than 50 full time employees (excluding casual seasonal labour);
- have a registered Australian Business Number;
- be an incorporated Australian entity registered for GST;
- have been trading for more than two years;
- provide financial statements for a minimum of the previous two financial years;
- provide a funding declaration from an external accountant on the accountant’s company letterhead confirming ability to fund applicant’s share of project costs and solvency.
To be eligible to apply for the Coles Nurture Fund all of the above criteria must be met.
Applicants that have already secured co-investments for their project from other entities will be considered.
However, funds cannot be allocated for general operational expenses including rent, utilities, marketing or remuneration for existing staff.
Nor can funds be used as security to obtain, or comply with, any form of loan, credit, payment or other interest or for the preparation of, or in the course of, any litigation.
How to get the Coles Nurture Fund?
You will need to be able to demonstrate:
- Funds – Why you need a grant over an interest-free loan?
- Outcome – What will the the project enable you to do?
- Project – What are you going to buy with the money?
- Debt – How financially viable are you?
- People – Who is going to undertake the project ?
- Shovel Ready – Do you have all your ducks lined up ready to go?
- Jobs – How many jobs will the project create?
Coles Nurture Fund applications closed on 19 January 2018.
Applications for the next round of the Coles Nurture Fund are expected to open in the second half of 2018.
Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, based on the outskirts of Melbourne was able to build a state-of-the-art greenhouse funded by a $430,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant, as part of its new model of urban farming.
The greenhouse uses cloud technology to tell employees when and what herbs to pick and has increased yields by about 75 per cent.
This means Coles customers can enjoy locally-grown herbs all year round. Representing the criteria of the Coles Nurture Fund, this Victorian business is dedicated to innovation, best-in-class sustainable practices and providing Aussies with great produce.
Three Australian farming families have invested in innovation and helped to replace food imports after becoming the first-ever recipients of Coles’ $50 million Nurture Fund.
The Clark family from Westerway Raspberry Farm in Tasmania, the Wiese family from Yarranabee Pty Ltd in Western Australia and the Moon family from Moonrocks in Queensland were among the first recipients of Coles’ grants.
Ashley Wiese and his business partners from Three Farmers in Western Australia have used their grant to help build mainland Australia’s first quinoa processing plant.
The quinoa processing plant has then enabled Three Farmers to supply Coles stores across Australia with their locally-grown quinoa.
“It’s blown me away,” said Mr Wiese. “We were looking to send our quinoa overseas for processing. We applied for the Coles Nurture Fund and it all happened in a whirlwind. It just gave us the confidence to build the plant.”
In Victoria, Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs has used a grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to open a greenhouse which uses cloud technology and climate control that allows them to grow fresh herbs all year round.
“What’s fantastic about this technology is that we have shuttles that travel up and down the greenhouse and bring the produce all the way back to the shed,” said Jan Vydra, co-founder of Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs.
Harvey Citrus in Western Australia, Manbulloo Mangoes in Northern Territory and Butler Market Gardens in Victoria were also among the first recipients of the Coles Nurture Fund.
A new pear variety will hit Coles supermarket shelves and be grown in Australia for the first time, thanks to an Ardmona fruit grower.
Oakmoor Orchards owner Rocky Varapodio will pull out 13ha of old trees on his Ardmona property and replace them with Honey Belle trees. The European pear variety is owned by Freshmax Australia, which will also be the Australian marketer.
Mr Varapodio first saw the pear on a business trip to New Zealand and described the fruit as a ‘‘fresh eating pear’’.
‘‘The pears originated in Europe but are grown extensively in New Zealand,’’ he said. ‘‘I first came across the variety four years ago and when I’d eaten it, I thought ‘we’ve got to get this into Australia and get Australian consumers to enjoy it’.
Oakmoor Orchards is currently putting in the infrastructure before growing begins in the winter of 2018, a date that was brought forward thanks to a $500000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund.
‘‘With the help of the Nurture Fund, we can fast track the planting and grow the variety using world’s best practice with high density planting, trellising and crop protection netting within 12 months rather than four years because of the investment required,’’ Mr Varapodio said.