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Coles is encouraging bushfire and drought affected food and beverage producers to apply in the latest round of the Coles Nurture Fund. Grants of up to $500,000 will be available for small businesses to grow and improve efficiency.

The company has said round eight of the Coles Nurture Fund will provide “financial support to help renew” businesses affected by drought and bushfires, as well as support for small producers looking to develop new products, processes and technologies.

“At Coles, we want to win together with food and beverage producers by funding projects which drive innovation to inspire customers or improve sustainability on Aussie farms and production facilities,” said Coles CEO Steven Cain.

“As a proudly Australian company that began as a small business more than 100 years ago, supporting Australian producers to develop their businesses is a key pillar of our strategy to sustainably feed all Australians to help them lead healthier, happier lives.”

Eligibility for the Coles Nurture Fund grants includes businesses with “innovative ideas”, fewer than 50 full time employees and a turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue.

The fund was first established in 2015, and has since supported a range of businesses in expanding technology, updating efficiencies and product development, including pork pie producer Pacdon Park.

Round eight of the Coles Nurture Fund closes 20 March. For more information and to apply, visit www.coles.com.au/nurturefund

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