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WA producers share in $3.6m Coles Nurture Fund grants

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Aidan SmithCountryman
Naomi and David Appleby from Walaja Raw Bush Honey.
Camera IconNaomi and David Appleby from Walaja Raw Bush Honey. Credit: Supplied/supplied

Two West Australian businesses will be able to expand their operations after being announced recipients of a combined total of $830,000 in the latest round of Coles Nurture Fund grants.

Kimberley-based Walaja Raw Bush Honey and McCormack Farms, Pinjarra, are two of eight Australian producers that will share in a total of $3.6 million by Coles to drive innovation and sustainability.

The grants announced today bring the total financial support awarded through the Coles Nurture Fund to more than $33m across 100 businesses since the funding initiative started in 2015.

Indigenous-owned family business Walaja Raw Bush Honey will use its grant of $330,000 to create a new, medicinal grade, premium Melaleuca honey that is sustainably made on Yawuru Country in the West Kimberley region.

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Business founder David Appleby said the grant would make a huge difference to the company and hopefully the health and wellbeing for the many Australians who can purchase this unique Kimberley honey.

“We’re confident this investment will help enhance Indigenous knowledge and create local employment opportunities,” Mr Appleby said.

McCormack Farms near Pinjarra was awarded a grant of $500,000 to construct a fully covered cattle feeding facility that will create an in-house composting system to reduce methane, nitrogen and carbon emissions.

Stuart and Michelle McCormack with their children at McCormack Farms.
Camera IconStuart and Michelle McCormack with their children at McCormack Farms. Credit: Supplied/supplied

Coles Group Fresh executive general manager Andy Mossop said the latest round of recipients were chosen for their uniqueness and ability to achieve high-impact sustainability goals to reduce emissions, enhance animal welfare and reduce waste.

“We are proud to be able to award more than $3.6 million to eight Aussie small and medium-sized businesses as part of the latest round of the Coles Nurture Fund,” Mr Mossop said.

“I am excited to see how this round of funding will help bring to life bright ideas generated by these eight businesses.

“From carbon neutral bananas, to freezing technology that promises to reduce food waste, this year’s recipients are proof Aussie farmers are leading the charge when it comes to innovation and sustainability.”

Coles Nurture Fund judging panellist Curtis Stone said the successful recipients all displayed an impressive focus on protecting the planet and driving change.

“It is encouraging to see our local Aussie farmers and producers setting benchmarks and leading innovation across many important areas of the industry,” Curtis said.

“With the environment and animal welfare at the heart of what we do at Coles, I’m encouraged to learn more about how our locals are making a difference.”

Other recipients included Edson Piggery, South Australia, Bespoke Foods, Victoria, Atlas Soils and Bartle Frere Bananas, Queensland, Esperance Bay Orchards, Tasmania, and food rescue charity SecondBite.

Australian small businesses are encouraged to apply for the 12th round of the Coles Nurture Fund via the website when applications open again in January 2024.

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