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Coles Nurture Fund: Round 2 recipients

Des Chapman and family from Rocky Ponds, Gumlu, Queensland in field holding green capsicums

Rocky Ponds, Gumlu, Queensland

Rocky Ponds

Gumlu, Queensland

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.

Australian Eatwell

Donald, Victoria

With the help of a $200,000 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

Bundaberg, Queensland

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

Townsville, Queensland

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 family-owned 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 

Lindenow, Victoria

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.

P&L Rogers

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.