Money raised from 3L Coles Own Brand milk sales
Coles today began distributing more than $3.9 million from the Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund to assist almost 640 Australian dairy farmers impacted by drought.
Coles customers contributed a total of $3,974,292.30 to the fund by paying an extra 30 cents on the price of each bottle of Coles 3 Litre Own Brand milk sold between 21 September and 31 December 2018. Every dollar collected is being donated directly to farmers, including more than $1.8 million to over 290 dairy farmers in Victoria.
The Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund was established to assist dairy farmers affected by drought, regardless of their location or the processor that buys their milk.
All 639 eligible applicants to the Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund from across Australia, including from towns and regions like Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Murray River will receive an equal share of the total amount raised.
Coles Chief Operating Officer Greg Davis thanked customers for their overwhelming support of Australian dairy farmers, who supply 100 per cent of Coles’ Own Brand fresh milk.
“Coles is proud to support the Australian dairy industry and we were delighted to see customers get behind this initiative, knowing the additional 30 cents from every bottle of Coles’ 3L Own Brand milk they bought would end up in the pocket of an Aussie dairy farmer,” Mr Davis said.
“This money will provide critical financial support to dairy farmers to assist with feed and water costs for their cattle, farm improvements and even meeting household expenses.”
A PwC audit confirmed that all money raised as part of the Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund was allocated to eligible applicants. All administration costs including the PWC audit are being paid by Coles.
The Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund distribution brings the total amount of money contributed by Coles and its customers for drought-affected farmers to more than $16 million.
This includes a contribution of $7.1 million to the Country Women’s Association Drought Relief Fund, made up of $3.55 million in customer donations at the checkout that were matched dollar-for-dollar by Coles. The CWA has already distributed grants to more than 1900 drought-affected farmers across Australia and is continuing to provide support.
Coles has also pledged $5 million in grants or interest-free loans from the Coles Nurture Fund for farmers who have a project to help them to combat drought in the future.