AN award-winning family farming business from West Gippsland will be able to dramatically increase its production of sustainable farming equipment thanks to a grant from the Coles Nurture Fund.
The Olsen family of Hallora was one of 12 small and medium-sized businesses to share in almost $3 million from the fund, which supports plans to improve sustainability, rebuild after bushfires and produce more Australian food and beverages.
The family will receive a $400,000 grant to expand the manufacturing capabilities of the Soilkee Renovator – a ground-breaking pasture cropping system that improves soil structure and water and nutrient retention.
Soilkee director Niels Olsen, who won The Weekly Times Coles Innovative Farmer of the Year earlier this year, welcomed the news.
“The Coles Nurture Fund will help us realise our passion of providing farmers with technology that increases production and soil fertility, resulting in profitable agriculture with environmental benefits,” he said.
“This support will enable us to meet the fast-growing demand for our innovation through increased manufacturing capabilities and education of the Soilkee system.”
Coles Group chief executive Steven Cain said the fund was set up to support new, innovative practices, processes and technologies.
“At a time when food and grocery manufacturing across Australia is so important due to the flow-on effect of COVID-19, it’s terrific to see the innovative, forward thinking of small to medium-sized businesses,” Mr Cain said.