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Coles gives farmers cash to innovate

Three Australian farming families will invest in innovation and help to replace food imports into Australia after being announced as the first-ever recipients of Coles’ $50 million Nurture Fund.

The Clark family from Westerway Raspberry Farm in Tasmania, the Wiese family from Yarranabee in Western Australia, and the Moon family from Moonrocks in Queensland were announced by Coles Managing Director John Durkan as the first recipients of Coles’ grants.

Westerway Raspberry Farm will become the first growers in Australia to adopt new freezing technology, which will allow them to supply Tasmanian frozen raspberries to customers on a large scale.

Yarranabee will build the first-ever large-scale quinoa processing plant in mainland Australia, which will enable them to process their locally grown quinoa at Narrogin in Western Australia.

Moonrocks will help to replace imports of garlic by growing and packing garlic in Queensland with new storage, machinery and equipment installed at their farm at St George.

David and Andrew Moon from Moonrocks at St George have received a grant, which will help them to replace imports of garlic at a time when Australian-grown garlic is not available to meet customer demand.

Speaking six months after he launched the Coles Nurture Fund to support small businesses in the food and grocery sector, Mr Durkan said the three local businesses were great innovators in the food industry and deserving recipients of the first Coles Nurture Fund grants.

“These three businesses are breaking new ground by supplying Australian customers with locally-grown products which are so difficult to source in Australia,” he said.

“We know Australians want to buy locally-grown produce and these first Nurture Fund recipients will use the funding to make this happen.”

Businesses with less than $25 million in annual revenue and 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply for the next round of funding from the Coles Nurture Fund as from September 25. More information is available at www.coles.com.au/nurturefund

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