Coles Nurture Fund
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.
Need help preparing a Coles Nuture Fund application?
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 Coles Nurture Fund, small-to-medium businesses may apply for funding to enable them to take the next step in creating value for business and customers.
Bulletpoint have assisted a number of food manufacturing companies secure manufacturing grants similar to the Coles Nurture Fund, such as the Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund.
Here are some recent examples:
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.
In April 2015, Coles launched the Nurture Fund to help small to medium Australian producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business.
From frozen raspberries and chickpea tofu to quinoa processing and cloud technology, the Coles Nurture Fund (CNF) is supporting businesses to develop new market-leading products, technologies, systems and processes. Together we hope to drive differentiation, extend growing seasons, improve productivity and reduce imports.
Through the Nurture Fund, existing small to medium businesses may apply for funding to enable them to take the next step in creating value for business and customers.
The Coles Nurture Fund has $10,000,000 a year. Of this:
- $5,000,000 will be available each year for grants
- $5,000,000 will be 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:
- Revenue – less than $25 million
- Employees – no more than 50 full time employees
- Registrations – ABN and GST
- Trading – minimum of 2 years
- Financial statements – minimum of the previous 2 financial years
- Funding – a funding declaration from an external accountant
How to get the Coles Nurture Fund?
Bulletpoint’s review of the Coles Nurture Fund application form suggests that you will need to be able to demonstrate:
- Growth Strategy –Whether the project is an expansion of an existing activity or diversification of existing businesses
- Cool Tech – The extent of new innovation, including new technology
- Jobs – The employment impact on other businesses
- Investment – The generation of further investment
- Competitive Neutrality – Trade impacts on other businesses including competitors
- Market – The extent to which the project will service the Australian market
- Management – Details of the your track record to successfully implement the new project
- IP – Did you develop any of the technology identified for the project
- Shovel Ready – Have you accessed suppliers and sourced distributors for the project
- Cash –How you will fund the project not covered by the grant
- Sustainability – how will the project continue after the completion date
- Goals – What are the longer term outcomes from the project
- Funding – Would the investment proposal proceed without the CNF funding
A new round of funding is expected to open in early 2020.
Beef producers Caithness Pastoral will use a $160,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to build facilities which can store 12 months’ worth of fodder on their farm.
The support from the Coles Nurture Fund will enable Trevor and Carryn Caithness to build a 1200 tonne capacity concrete silage bunker, as well as two steel-framed sheds with the capacity to store 800 tonnes of hay or cereal straw.
By enabling Trevor and Carryn to store enough fodder to feed their cows and calves in difficult seasonal conditions, the new storage facilities will help to drought-proof the family business.
Pear growers and packers, Masalki will use a $400,000 grant to regulate the humidity in their fruit cool rooms, reducing water use by up to 80 per cent in their packing shed. The family business will be one of the pear growers in Australia to introduce the new technology.
After conducting extensive research in Italy, brothers Con and Philip Damianopoulos identified the new technology as one of the most effective ways to preserve their apples and pears at the highest quality, while removing the need for large volumes of plastic and water during the storing process.
Lachlan Valley Grazing
Cattle producers Tom and Vickie Tyson family will use a $387,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to purchase a pivot irrigator and renewable energy infrastructure for their bore water pump.
This will mean the Tysons are better able to cope in future drought conditions, allow them to boost their grass-fed beef production to 12 months a year and begin to diversify into sheep and lamb production.
Mt Sylvia, QLD
Vegetable growers Brian and Julia Crust family will use a $183,000 grant to line a dam to increase their water capacity by 20 per cent, and install a state-of-the-art irrigation system for water and power efficiency.
By having more water, the Crusts believe they will be able to increase their productivity and be better able to handle drought in the Lockyer Valley.
Paul and Nicole Fitzpatrick will be better able to cope with drought thanks to a new fodder storage shed they will build with the help of a $190,000 grant.
The storage shed will mean the business has a constant supply of fodder all year around and reduce their reliance on sourcing feed externally during times of drought.
The Edson family from Tepko in South Australia will use a $450,000 grant to install a solar system to fully power their piggery, becoming one of the first pork producers in Australia to derive 100 per cent of its electricity from sustainable, natural sources.
The family estimates the solar system will reduce their annual carbon emissions from power usage by 95 per cent.
Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Fourth generation fruit growers, Ceravolo Orchards, will be able to produce more cherries for a longer period thanks to an innovative new roofing system supported by the Coles Nurture Fund.
The $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund interest-free loan will help Ceravolo Orchards to become one of the first growers in Australia to grow and harvest cherries under a retractable roof. Expected to be installed by October 2019, the roof will transform traditional growing techniques, increase yields and extend the growing season.
Endhill Pty Ltd
Dockers Plains, Victoria
Victorian beef producers, Endhill Pty Ltd, have received a $400,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to introduce technology which will harvest lucerne in the paddock and convert it immediately to pellets for cattle.
Owned by the Paul family, the business will purchase the new machinery from Germany as a prototype and expects it will be the first lucerne harvester of its type in Australia.
The Nurture Fund grant will also help Endhill to purchase a new tractor to tow the harvester; a custom-built vacuum to move the pellets into storage; and five circular troughs which the cattle will feed from.
The new machinery is expected to drive efficiencies for Endhill Pty Ltd because the lucerne pellets are easier to handle and store and can be fed to cattle in winter months when they need to supplement grass with another nutrient-rich food source.
Echuca small business Pacdon Park will use a $221,577 interest-free loan from the Coles Nurture Fund to buy new machinery which will drive a massive 20-fold increase in their production of pork pies.
The new machinery from the United Kingdom will increase production from around 100 pork pies an hour to over 2000 per hour, while also removing the need for manual labour to press and pack each of the pies.
In addition to production efficiencies, the specialised machinery will also ensure Pacdon Park is able to provide customers with a higher quality and more consistent product.
Established 11 years ago by James and Jane Arrowsmith and Peter Tonge, Pacdon Park is one of the only businesses in Australia that makes pork pies using traditional British methods. Usually served cold, the traditional British pork pie consists of a filling of pork surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in a crust pastry.
National food charity, SecondBite, will use a $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to purchase four new eight-pallet trucks to collect and redistribute large quantities of surplus food in shorter timeframes.
SecondBite is a charitable logistics organisation that collects surplus, edible food from Coles supermarkets and redistributes it free of charge to people in need across Australia.
SecondBite’s 1300 community partners are able to use the food donations to provide meals and food hampers to people experiencing hardship in their local communities.
Ovens Valley, Victoria
Nigel Stephens used a $127,270 grant to introduce a new irrigation system to reduce water use and cut electricity costs, allowing him to produce grass-fed beef year round. The Nurture Fund has helped fund a centre pivot irrigation system, replacing the farm’s outdated and less sustainable system, which has helped reduce his farm’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Goulburn Valley, Victoria
Oakmoor Orchards is introducing a new pear variety in Australia with help from the Coles Nurture Fund. The $500,000 grant has allowed Rocky and Carolyn Varapodio to establish a 13 hectare orchard for the Honey Belle pear variety. The Honey Belle originates from Europe and it is expected the first Australian harvest will be 2021. Oakmoor Orchards is helping to diversify the horticulture industry and expanding the fruit varieties available at Coles.
Coolac, New South Wales
Cattle farmer Michael Crowe received a $400,000 grant to build facilities to manufacture a highly-nutritious animal fodder, allowing him to produce grass-fed beef year round. Producing the high protein fodder on a daily basis will provide Michael’s farm with significant water savings, facilitate a more efficient farming process and ensure fodder production is unaffected by climate. The Crowes are passionate about innovation in the farming and food sector and hope the facility will be a blueprint for cattle farmers around Australia.
Kununurra, Western Australia
With a $500,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund, Kimberley Produce will exponentially expand its banana growing operations. Expecting to yield an extra 5 million bananas, Kimberley Produce are dedicated to bringing Western Australians more locally-grown fruit, with the majority of bananas currently on the market coming from northern Queensland.
Based in semi-arid Kununurra, Stewart and Rosalie Dobson, along with their sons, Lachlan and Craig are using the Coles Nurture Fund grant to introduce the latest technologies to meet the challenges of growing fruit in the dry region. Hard-work, determination and an adventurous spirit inspired the Dobsons to take on Kununurra for fruit-growing and we are proud to support them in their expansion project, especially when it ensures Western Australians can get their hands on fantastic local bananas.
Based in Central Queensland, Bill Crowther is using a $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to plant a resilient tree-legume at his cattle properties to be used as cattle feed. This innovative practice increases the land’s productivity by 20 per cent and increases the production of grass-fed beef, while also ensuring the Crowther’s properties are better prepared for the impact of Queensland droughts.
The Crowther’s have been supplying beef directly to Coles since 2010, with this Nurture Fund supported project expanding their supply of grass-fed beef to Coles’ Graze program.
Lismore, New South Wales
A $400,000 interest-free loan from the Coles Nurture Fund will see Natalie Bell and Paul Lloyd grow the popular Eureka blueberries for an additional four months each year and create 20 new jobs in the region. The funds have been used to invest in equipment to grow new varieties of Eureka blueberries, which will produce the fruit earlier in the season, marking the first time this innovative growing method will be used on a large scale in Australia. At Coles, we are passionate about bringing customers locally-grown produce and that is why we are proud to support Natalie and Paul to help our customers get their hands on delicious Aussie blueberries for more months of the year.
Swan Hill, Victoria
A $300,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant allowed Arahura Farms to expand into new organic products by freeing up resources usually dedicated to packaging. Tony Croft used the Nurture Fund grant to install automated processing and packaging equipment, which has encouraged the family business to focus on growing more organic vegetables for Aussies to enjoy, including carrots, beetroot and mini cos lettuce.
Cattle producers David and Katy Gillett from Jalna Feedlot received a $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to build a specially-designed roof over a portion of their feedlot. Aimed at enhancing animal welfare standards, the roof will protect their cattle against the winter climate, resulting in cleaner animals and reducing the amount of feed they consume to keep warm. The roof also helps to reduce water consumption at the farm by diverting rainfall into holding tanks with expectations that this will save 4.5 million litres of water each year.
With the help of a $200,552 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund, Australian Eatwell is reinventing the healthy vegetarian favourite, tofu, by using locally-grown chickpeas as the key ingredient, rather than soy beans. Australian Eatwell used the Nurture Fund grant to purchase the equipment to develop a production line and streamline the packaging process. With the support of the Coles Nurture Fund, the small family business has been able to develop an innovative and delicious vegetarian product for Aussies.
Gin Gin and Dry
Gin Gin and Dry have been able to treble production in its fruit drying facility with help from a $500,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund. The grant supported the family-owned business to build a state-of-the-art facility to expand its production of dried tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, banana and kiwifruit, as well as dried fruit powder used in cooking. The funds have also contributed to employing an extra 20 local people to work in the business.
Pacific Reef Fisheries
Pacific Reef Fisheries used a $430,000 interest-free loan from the Coles Nurture Fund to introduce an Australian-first farming practice for its production of Australian Black Tiger Prawns. The business introduced a ‘nursery’ phase to support prawn growth, increasing overall yield and delivering larger prawns consistently through the year. This also supported hiring an additional 10 employees to help harvest and process the prawns at the farm at Ayr in Queensland. It also means customers can expect consistently large prawns at great value.
Riviera Farms received an $183,000 grant to increase production of watercress by building a fully commercialised growing and harvesting facility. This has resulted in increased production of the popular green to 12 months, yielding 300 per cent more watercress and creating 10 new jobs in the region. It has also encouraged the family business to diversify its salad leaf offering to customers.
Des and Paula Chapman used a $400,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to build a state-of-the-art nursery, install efficient motors and fully computerise irrigation and fertigation systems on their fruit and vegetable farm. The technology used by the Chapmans means their farm can be controlled from anywhere in the world, boosting productivity, reducing electricity and water costs and creating 15 new jobs.
Port Wakefield, South Australia
With a Coles Nurture Fund grant of $300,000, P&L Rogers has built a state-of-the-art facility to boost mushroom production by 15 per cent. The new facility will give Phil and Linda Rogers greater control of their supply chain, ensure the long-term viability of the business and create 15 new jobs in the region.
Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs
Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, based on the outskirts of Melbourne was able to build a state-of-the-art greenhouse funded by a $433,250 Coles Nurture Fund interest-free loan, 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, the Victorian business is dedicated to innovation, best-in-class sustainable practices and providing Aussies with great produce.
Queensland and Myponga, South Australia
In a first for the strawberry industry, Berry Yummy has implemented cutting edge heat-seal technology to enhance food safety and quality through the support of the Coles Nurture Fund. A $500,000 interest-free loan meant Berry Yummy could install innovative heat-seal technology to help ensure a consistent quality supply of the popular fruit to customers. Pioneering the practice in Australia, the technology has helped to reduce packaging and food waste and speed up the time it takes for strawberries to get from paddock to plate.
Harvey, Western Australia
With a $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant, Harvey Citrus planted 9,000 new trees to bring customers more locally-grown limes and mandarins. Supplying Coles with top quality citrus for more than 30 years, Pina and Steve Pergoliti also used the support from the Nurture Fund to expand into new citrus varieties, including introducing a new line of seedless lemons. Bringing Western Australian locally-grown citrus to Coles customers is a top priority for the Pergolitis and that’s why Coles is proud to support them.
Katherine, Northern Territory and Townsville, Queensland
Since receiving a $500,000 interest-free loan from the Coles Nurture Fund, Manbulloo Mangoes in Queensland and the Northern Territory have sold an additional 4.5 million mangoes each season through Coles. The support from the Nurture Fund enabled Marie Piccone to embark on a major expansion project, planting nearly 22,000 new mangoes trees on 130 hectares at her Katherine farm, so that Aussies can enjoy more delicious and locally-grown mangoes all summer long. The expansion also supports regional employment with an 60 additional people needed during peak harvest season.
St George, Queensland
A $400,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant saw fifth generation farmers Andrew and David Moon purchase a controlled temperature storage facility, new machinery and equipment to size and pack garlic for their growing operation. Dedicated to reducing imports of garlic into Australia, the grant has allowed Moonrocks to provide more locally-grown garlic to Queensland customers. The project has been a great success, replacing garlic imports at Coles from September to December, and also supporting local community employment.
Narrogin, Western Australia
Western Australian grain growers, Three Farmers, received a $500,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to help build mainland Australia’s first-ever quinoa processing plant, enabling the farming families to supply Coles with more than 800,000 packets of the super-grain each year. This Western Australian grown quinoa has replaced imported South American white quinoa, providing Aussies with access to locally-grown grains and cutting import costs.
Westerway Raspberry Farm
Derwent Valley, Tasmania
A $260,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant allowed Westerway Raspberry Farm in Tasmania to install new freezing technology, allowing them to freeze individual berries. As the first grower in Australia to adopt the Liquid Nitrogen berry freezer tunnel, the Clark family have been able to supply locally-grown frozen berries to customers on a large scale. This has also encouraged them to access exciting new markets.
Bulletpoint has no association with Coles or the Coles Nurture Fund. Potential applicants should consult the Coles website for the latest information.
Bulletpoint provides grants and funding news. Some copyright material may have been republished as per the fair dealing guidelines under the Copyright Act 1968 for the purposes of news and criticism.