The declining health of the Great Barrier Reef is a global concern, urgent action was needed to reduce the impact of human activity on the reef including by introducing more sustainable farming practices.
For more than ten years The Coca‑Cola Foundation, together with founding partner WWF has supportsed a farmer-led project to trial innovative sugarcane farming practices to improve the water quality impacting the reef.
Project Catalyst, is a joint collaboration between The Coca‑Cola Foundation, sugarcane farmers, WWF Australia, natural resource management bodies and the Federal Government which aims to reduce the agricultural run-off impacting the reef. Pollution in run-off is linked to outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish that cause damage to coral tissue and reef deterioration.
The partnership project began in 2009 with just 19 farmers who were determined to make a difference, working to test and trial sustainable sugarcane farming practices.
Since then Project Catalyst has grown to include more than 130 farmers , and has helped reduce run-off by around 180 tonnes a year by reducing pesticides, soil analysis and reducing fertiliser application.
Pollution in run-off is linked to outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish that cause damage to coral tissue and reef deterioration.
In the 14 years that Project Catalyst has been operating, The Coca‑Cola Foundation has contributed an estimated $6.5 million to the project.