Australian food and beverage producers can now apply for financial support from the Coles Nurture Fund to help them innovate and grow.

Coles has opened a new round of the Coles Nurture Fund to provide grants of up to $500,000 for small businesses to develop new market-leading products, processes and technologies.

Food and beverage producers affected by bushfires or drought can also apply for financial support to help renew their business.

Since it was established in 2015, the Coles Nurture Fund has committed more than $21 million in financial support to over 50 Australian businesses to help them introduce ground-breaking technology, establish new products and improve productivity and efficiency.

Previous Nurture Fund projects include Australia’s first quinoa processing plant and an automated indoor facility that grows highly nutritious cattle fodder in just six days.

Coles CEO Steven Cain encouraged small businesses to apply for financial support from the Coles Nurture Fund ahead of the deadline on 20 March.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Businesses with innovative ideas, fewer than 50 full time employees and turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply.

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