About Co-operatives

Co-ops are businesses that create value to share among their members. In a co-op, ownership and control is shared equally amongst members who use their co-op. Members of a co-op are people, other businesses, employees or other community stakeholders who work together to achieve a common purpose or outcome.

In broad terms, a successful co-operative harnesses the interests of its members to drive its performance.

Sometimes people feel that a co-operative structure is a good thing in itself, and that by adopting a co-operative structure an enterprise gains an immediate advantage of some kind. It’s important to make the right choice at the outset.

Australia has a proud tradition of agricultural producer co-operatives, and we can point to many excellent examples. In a successful producer co-operative the voice which producers have enables them to shape and improve the co-op’s performance and the ownership they have encourages them to think about the way they use what the co-op offers.

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What is a Co-operative?

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals explains what is a co-operative and how the co-operative business model can benefit you.

[Co-operatives] have been around since before Federation. They've been bringing farmers together across the supply chain. They've been allowing them to cut out the middle guy, reduce their input cost so that they can get back more of the value to the farmgate. They've also been allowing farmers to bring the strength of small businesses together so they can access export markets. They can team up, if you like, to act like a larger player in a market that they wouldn't be able to access as independent businesses.

Melina MorrisonBCCM