More than 100 dairy farmers received grants totaling more than $1.5 million last year thanks to sales of more than 2.6 million litres of Farmers Fund milk at Coles supermarkets across Victoria and a $1 million donation from the Coles Nurture Fund.
Since September last year, Coles has sold Farmers’ Fund milk at its supermarkets across Victoria, with twenty cents a litre from all sales directed to an independent fund established by the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF).
The funds have then helped to provide grants of up to $20,000 to support on-farm innovation and improvements.
Young dairy farmer Jason Riley from Dumbulk in Victoria’s South Gippsland was a first round Farmers’ Fund grant recipient and put his $20,000 in funding towards pasture and paddock renovations on his farm.
“I am a young farmer just starting out and following a particularly tough season, a helping hand was very much appreciated. The Farmers’ Fund grant has been a huge help and I cannot be more thankful for the contributions that the VFF and Coles have made. Everyone that I have encountered in the dairy industry has been so supportive to work with and it really reaffirms my decision to pursue a life in the farming industry,” he said.
As part of similar arrangements in South Australia and Western Australia, Coles sells South Australian Dairy Farmers' Association (SADA) Fresh Milk and Western Australian Farmers Federations (WAFarmers) WAFarmers First milk where 20 cents a litre is provided to industry funds. Coles has sold more than 5.4 million litres of SADA Fresh Milk since 2013 and over 2.7 million litres of WAFarmers First Milk since 2014.