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Working Together

Working Together

Coles proudly supports local farmers, producers, and manufacturers with the Coles Nurture Fund and the Coles Indigenous Food Fund. We believe that by investing in local Australian businesses, we can support Australian communities and provide great value to our customers.

CNF logo

Coles Nurture Fund

Coles has established the Coles Nurture Fund (CNF) to help small Australian food and grocery producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business.

The Coles Nurture Fund will allocate $50 million over five years in grants and interest-free loans to fund the development of new market-leading products, technologies, systems and processes.

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.

Applications for the current round of the Coles Nurture Fund are now closed.

Applications for the next round of the Coles Nurture Fund are expected to open in the second half of 2018.

To find out more about the Coles Nurture Fund please click here.

Click here to access the Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to access the Guidelines

A Nurture Fund Grant:

Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs

Clyde, Victoria

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.

Fresh Leaf Herbs

Indigenous Food Fund

Coles Indigenous Food Fund was established in 2001 to promote native bush foods and support Indigenous enterprise.

For every sauce, spice packet or chutney from the Outback Spirit range and every bottle of Yaru Water sold in Coles, 10 cents is directed to the Coles Indigenous Food Fund - five cents comes from Coles and five cents from Outback Spirit and Yaru.

The Fund, in turn, promotes Australian native bush foods and supports the development of Indigenous businesses.

One of the big success stories is an investment in Acti-sol organic fertiliser for bush tomato growers who supply Outback Spirit. “They improved their yield from half a kilogram per plant up to two to three kilograms,” Coles Indigenous Food Fund Chairman Chris Mara said.

“This means they’ve gone from growing hundreds of kilograms up to three to four tonnes of bush tomatoes. That’s now a very healthy commercial harvest from what was a wild harvest.”

Coles is proud to support and develop the Outback Spirit Indigenous supply chain, and to promote and encourage the purchase of Australian native bush foods.

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Outback Spirit

A sense of obligation to give something back to Indigenous communities means business will never just be about profits for Juleigh and Ian Robins. The Melbourne chefs formed Outback Spirit in 1986 when they began sourcing Indigenous herbs, fruits and vegetables for their range of chutneys, preserves and sauces. To further support Indigenous business, 10 cents from the sale of every Outback Spirit product is directed to the Coles Indigenous Food Fund – five cents from Coles and five cents from Outback Spirit.

The Coles Indigenous Food Fund proceeds provide assistance to help Indigenous enterprises develop commercial plantings of Bush Tomatoes, Kakadu plums, Wild Limes, Davidson’s Plums and a range of native herbs that are used in these products. This assistance offers employment opportunities and modern farming skills to the Indigenous communities harvesting these native foods.

Yaru water

Yaru is a unique business partnership between an Indigenous family of Bundjalung heritage and Mount Warning Spring Water Company to produce Australia’s first Indigenous bottled water.

Beyond its commercial initiatives, Yaru’s principles stem from a great respect for the land and its people. The proceeds generated from the sale of Yaru Water facilitate Indigenous leadership programs, dedicated to ‘closing the gap’ on disadvantage in indigenous communities. Yaru Water is sold in still and sparkling and for each bottle sold, 10 cents goes back to the Coles Indigenous.

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