What we stand for

The dairy industry is built from the ground up, and we are committed to making a positive difference to our people, our farmers, our customers, our communities and environments where we operate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

At Fonterra we recognise the vital role that strong, healthy rural communities play.

The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund is our way of saying thank you by supporting projects, ideas and initiatives that bring our rural communities together and make them better, safer, more vibrant places to be.

The fund opens doors for a wide range of community projects with grants of between $500 and $5,000. To be considered, your initiative or activity must fit within one of the three categories below.

Fonterra Grass Root Fund Frequently Asked Questions

- PDF, 1.2 MB

1. What is the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund?

The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund is a community grant program which focuses on the dairy communities where our staff, farmers and their families live and work.

2. What does the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund aim to achieve?

Fonterra is dedicated to supporting communities where we operate. Our community goal in Australia is to make a valued difference to the social wellbeing, nutritional health and long term sustainability of the communities that support our business and allow it to prosper. The aim of the Fund is to support communities to get their projects, ideas and initiatives underway.

3. What has the program achieved since it started?

Since 2011 we have supported over 400 initiatives that focus on bringing communities together, caring for the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles and dairy nutrition. For example, our sponsorship funding has helped to build school vegetable gardens, supported sports, community and surf lifesaving clubs, and aided the purchase of essential equipment for emergency response services.

4. What types of initiatives and activities are supported by the program?

We are committed to initiatives which share our vision, values and cooperative spirit. Specifically, initiatives must fall into one of three categories:

  • Bringing Communities Together
  • Caring for the Environment
  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Dairy Nutrition

5. How much can groups apply for?

Support is provided from $500 to a maximum of $5,000 per initiative.

6. Can groups apply more than once within a year?

There aren’t any restrictions on the number of different initiatives a group can apply for. However, you can only submit one application per an initiative. If your application is unsuccessful, you must wait until the following year to re-submit it.

7. Who decides which applications are successful?

There are Fonterra Grass Roots Fund committees at each of our seven sites which manage, approve and support local initiatives for their local communities. Made up of Fonterra staff, they assess applications against key criteria and guidelines.

8. How do we apply?

Please complete the online application form on our website. Applications will only be accepted via the Fonterra Australia website. If you need any assistance with the online process, please contact your local champion whose contact details are outlined in Q17.

9. What kind of proof will I need to supply for my bank account details?

For the bank account that you nominate you will need to supply either:

  • A scanned copy of a printed bank deposit slip.
  • A screenshot of your online bank account showing the account name and number.
  • A scanned copy of your bank statement showing the account name and number.

10. What format should I use for attachments?

Please provide attachements in either PDF or Word format.

11. How will we know that you have received our application?

Once you have completed your online application form, you will receive an email confirming we have received your application. 

12. When are applications reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed once applications have closed on 28 February 2019.

13. How will we know if we’ve been successful?

We will contact you in writing to let you know whether your application has been successful, at the email address provided with your application.

14. If I’m not successful can I find out why?

We receive a large number of requests for support each year, and unfortunately we can’t support them all.

We aren’t able to respond to queries regarding an application, but if you think your application meets all of the criteria you do have the option to reapply the following year.

15. What makes a good application?

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your application fits within one of the three criteria and make sure you read our Fonterra Grass Roots Fund Guidelines to check your organisation is eligible.
  • Clearly outline how you will use the grant if successful.
  • Keep it short and concise.
  • Source a costing quote for the equipment/work to be done (include the cost of including the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund logo if this is possible).

If you're requesting funding as part of a larger project please include information on what other support you have raised and how our support will help you reach your goal.

Please let us know if there is an opportunity for our people and farmers to come and help out on the project.

16. How do we promote our project/event when we’ve received our grant?

We would love you to promote our support of your initiative, whether it be on social media, your local community noticeboards or with the local media – just let us know.

We also want to hear about how your project is going so we can share it with our staff, farmers and local community. You can share your stories with our Communications team via hester.philip@fonterra.com   

17. Which regions are covered by the program?

We will consider applications from the regions in which our sites operate. These are: Northern Victoria, Eastern Victoria, Western Victoria, Outer Eastern Melbourne, and Northern Tasmania.

How do I contact the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund if I have other questions?

The best way to get in touch with us is by going direct to your closest site and via email.

Eastern Victoria
Andrew Nooy
Northern Victoria
Matthew Brady
Western Victoria
Robyn Cue
Western Victoria
Jodie Narik
Outer Eastern Melbourne
Karen Blackhurst
North West Coast Tasmania
Patrina Synfield
North Coast Tasmania
Patrina Synfield

Alternatively, you can contact Hester Philip from our Fonterra Communications team at hester.philip@fonterra.com


Keep an eye out for the next round of funding - applications open January 2019!


Download our sponsorship guidelines PDF.