Australian supermarket chain Woolworths has revealed the launch of the Woolworths Organic Fruit and Vegetable Fund. The $30 million dollar fund, which has established in partnership with the Heritage Bank will help Australian farmers to meet the increased demand for organic fruit and vegetables. The fund will provide organic produce farmers looking to expand their operations with five-year interest-free loans.
In addition, farmers will also have set contracted purchase volumes with Woolworths, giving them the certainty of long-term supply contracts. “There’s no doubt more Australian customers are choosing to buy organic. In the last five years, demand has been growing at a rate of 20 percent year on year in the organic produce category. Working with Heritage Bank, the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund represents our long-term commitment to satisfying this growing consumer demand, allowing us to continue our partnership with local farmers to make sure we’re ready for future demand,” said Woolworths Supermarkets managing director, Claire Peters. Apple growers R&R Smith from Tasmania are the first to benefit from the fund.