Our divisional contribution
Directly and through support from our customers and team members, our community contributions were nearly $150 million.
Reflecting the Group's divisional autonomy, our approach to community engagement is driven and managed by our businesses to ensure that contributions are made in ways that best fit with their operations and geographic spread.
Wesfarmers has a local footprint in many communities. Many of our divisions have major, long-term partnerships at a national level, such as the enduring partnership between Kmart and The Salvation Army through the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, or Coles’ relationship with national food relief charity SecondBite.
In addition to these major partnerships, a significant part of our community investment is directed to smaller, not-for-profit organisations operating locally. For example, Bunnings has supported thousands of local community groups throughout the year by participating in activities such as fundraising sausage sizzles, hands-on projects, community workshops and product contributions.
Our retail businesses all support local community groups through the provision of gift cards, products or facilitating the collection of customer donations for local fundraising initiatives. As a result of these locally driven activities, there are a significant number of community groups and programs who have received the support of our businesses across a wide range of areas.
The Coles Nurture Fund launched in April 2015 is continuing to provide $50 million in grants and interest-free loans over five years to businesses in the food and grocery sector to help fund the development of new products, technologies and processes. So far the Nurture Fund has supported cutting-edge projects, from the development of chickpea tofu and early-season blueberries to the installation of cloud technology and automation equipment, with more innovation to come.