AUSVEG has welcomed today’s announcement from Coles that it will establish a $50 million Nurture Fund to help small Australian growers, manufacturers and food and grocery producers to innovate and develop their businesses.

Coles will allocate grants and interest-free loans over five years using the Nurture Fund to allow small businesses to invest in the development of new market-leading products, technologies and processes to improve their operations and provide better value for Aussie consumers.

“The establishment of the Nurture Fund is a boost for the Australian vegetable and potato industries, as it will support small businesses in their efforts to remain competitive in an ever-changing global marketplace,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White.

“The fact that Coles, one of the biggest retailers in the country, is supporting local business innovation and development through such a substantial fund sends a strong message that it has confidence in the industry’s long-term viability and prosperity.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

The Nurture Fund, which was announced today, will be open to businesses with less than $25 million in annual revenue and 50 or fewer full-time employees.

“We hope the Nurture Fund will help the many small vegetable and potato operations all over Australia develop their businesses so they can continue to be innovative in a climate of rising on-farm costs,” said Mr White.

“This Fund will enable growers to be more entrepreneurial and invest in exciting new business opportunities, rather than being forced to direct all of their funds into their day-to-day operations.”

“That Coles is investing such a large amount of money into Australian industry is a timely acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication that our growers employ in producing the safe and high-quality produce that Australian consumers enjoy every day.”

“It is encouraging that Coles, through the newly established Nurture Fund, will help ensure that Australian growers can remain at the cutting edge in terms of innovation into the future and that consumers can continue to enjoy clean, green and safe Australian vegetables and potatoes.”

Small businesses that are eligible for grants can submit requests for funds, along with their business plan, for review by the Coles Nurture Fund. Applications are available at, and applications should be submitted to

  Shaun Lindhe, Senior Communications Officer
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: