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Coles grants $1.45m for sustainable diary

Coles is championing sustainability in the dairy industry with the launch of the Dairy Farm Sustainability Accelerator Fund, providing $1.45 million in grants to 100 Coles dairy farms nationwide.

The fund, established to drive innovation and sustainable practices, awarded grants of up to $50,000 to direct sourcing dairy farmers.

Brad Gorman, Coles general manager for dairy, freezer, and convenience, said the aim of empowering dairy farmers to invest in projects that enhance animal welfare, promote solar energy adoption, and improve infrastructure.

“There are dozens of impressive, farmer-led projects that will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving soil nutrients and quality, water management, biodiversity and animal welfare. We’re very excited to see the impact of these initiatives,” Freezer said.

“We look forward to working with our farmers and learning how much of a difference these projects will make to their operations and to the environment as they evolve and establish.”

Among the beneficiaries, dairy farmers Benjamin and Melissa Holloway plan to use the funds to install an 80KW solar roof system on their Victorian farm, supplementing their existing solar setup and generating an additional 106,000 KW annually in clean, renewable energy.

The Holloways, with a decade-long commitment to sustainability, see this investment from Coles as a crucial upgrade, demonstrating their dedication to cleaner farming practices.

“For over 10 years now, our business has been evolving to become more sustainable. It’s important we show our team, families, consumers and community that we are making a difference to be more sustainable as dairy farmers,” Benjamin said.

“This investment from Coles will help us upgrade our current solar system. Energy on our farm will nearly all be generated from the solar roof, reducing our carbon footprint, while providing us with clean, renewable energy that can be stored and used as required.”

Other grant examples include the construction of a methane catchment pond in Western Victoria to support carbon-neutral targets and the installation of touch screens in southwest Victoria for enhanced herd management.

Additionally, there are upgrades to irrigation systems in Western Australia and rainwater tank installations in New South Wales aim to save water and increase storage capacity.

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