Australian beef, lamb and pork producers have been awarded more than $7 million from the Coles Nurture Fund to grow, innovate and improve the sustainability of their farms.
From projects which range from building a state-of-the-art grass factory to re-fencing fire-affected farmland with recycled fence posts, the Coles Nurture Fund aims to support new, innovative and sustainable practices, processes and technologies.
Coles General Manager for Meat, Charlotte Gilbert, said Coles was committed to supporting livestock producers through the Coles Nurture Fund and by dealing directly with farming families to source great quality beef, lamb and pork.
"Just for beef alone, we work with over 1,000 Aussie farmers and partner with Australian farmers and suppliers who share our passion for meat, including where it comes from, and how it is produced," she said.
"We're delighted to support our producers by providing grants from our Coles Nurture Fund to help fund initiatives which increase local production, fast-track innovation and drive generational sustainability in Australia."
Near Capella in Queensland, the Reid family at Paringa Gold received a $450,000 grant to install dedicated milling equipment and bunkers to ferment locally-grown sorghum to feed their cattle; and build a water storage and harvesting facility.
"We now have a milling system to meet the demands of our feedlot. This incorporates a wetting system capable of processing more than 300 tonnes of reconstituted sorghum per day. By being able to ferment the sorghum, we can use a lesser quality feed grain that is plentiful in our area and turn it into a feed that rivals corn and wheat for energy on a dry matter basis. It means our local suppliers can harvest their crops earlier so they are less prone to damage," Phil Reid said.
At Coolac in NSW, Michael and Gemma Crowe received a $400,00 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to automate a unique grass factory on their cattle property.
At Tepko in South Australia, the Edson family was awarded a $450,000 grant to install a solar system to power its pig farm, thereby slashing carbon emissions and becoming one of the first pork producers in Australia to derive 100 per cent of its electricity from sustainable, natural sources.
Over the past five years, the Coles Nurture Fund has awarded more than $24 million in financial support to small and medium sized businesses such as Australian beef, lamb and pork producers, dairy farmers, food and beverage producers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, recycling businesses and food rescue non-profit organisations.
Coles was a major sponsor of Beef Week 2021.