Co-operative Conversations

The Livestream Series

We speak frankly with farmers who are successfully using co-operative farming business models. Through their stories and real life experiences (warts and all), you will learn how relevant and positive it can be to the farming model and farming in general, and how it literally changes lives.

Episode 1: Growing Together
Could co-operative farming future proof Australian farmers?
DURATION: approx 30 mins

Hosted by renowned agricultural journalist Pete Lewis, the candid conversation begins with local and international co-op leaders, ag experts, and farmers debating and discussing the future of farming and why the co-operative business model could be an option to protect our home-grown agribusinesses.

Expert panel guests including Fiona Simson NFF, Jimmy Wilson CEO CBH Group, Emma Thomas CEO Achmea and many more.

Episode 2 Part 1: Interview
Don't cry over spilt milk: The Mountain Milk Co-operative
DURATION: approx 45 mins

The Mountain Milk Co-operative: After the collapse and then demutualisation of the Murray Goulburn Co-operative, a group of Victorian dairy farmers wanted to secure the future of their community by working together in a co-operative business model. Today, the Mountain Milk Co-operative is proud to be one of Australia’s newest dairy businesses. This is the story of how you can go from the edge of disaster to creating a business direction the next generations will be inspired to follow.

Join journalist Pete Lewis as he talks to Stuart Crosthwaite, Chairperson of Mountain Milk Co-operative about their interesting adventure in farming.

Episode 2 Part 2: Roundtable
Why do some co-operatives succeed while others fail?
DURATION: approx 60 mins

Join journalist Pete Lewis and our farmer panel as they discuss and explore the conditions and events that impact the rise and fall of agricultural co-operatives.

Episode 3: Part 1: Interview
A fine nut to crack: Marquis Macadamias story
DURATION: approx 30 mins

This is the story of a group of dedicated Aussie farmers who joined together to become the world’s largest macadamia processing company. Co-operative Conversations host and renowned agricultural journalist Pete Lewis talks to Marquis Macadamias CEO Larry McHugh about their fascinating farming journey on the far north coast of Australia, as well as their recent rebranding and consolidation experience and how they managed to add value, profitability and resilience to farm incomes with advanced food manufacturing.

Episode 3 Part 2: Roundtable
How co-operatives add value
DURATION: approx 60 mins

How the Co-operatives Add Value: maximising produce and the food manufacturing supply chain. Journalist Pete Lewis and our farmer panel discuss and explore how maximising their produce into marketable products can transform producers from price takers to price makers.

Episode 4 Part 1: Interview
Bending the rules: The Sweeter Banana Co-operative
DURATION: approx 30 mins

Despite the cyclones and the geographic isolation, Sweeter Banana has not only pioneered the lunchbox banana market, it has remained profitable by sticking together and thinking differently.

Co-operative Conversation’s host Pete Lewis talks to Doriana Mangili, Business Manager of The Sweeter Banana Co-operative.

Episode 4 Part 2: Roundtable
A collective advantage
DURATION: approx 60 mins

One of the things a co-operative can do is to unite a community or collective of producers to work together to overcome adversity or meet a market challenge. We speak with some different farm co-operatives about the challenges that brought them together in the first place and how they have used co-operation to mutual benefit.

Episode 5 Part 1: Interview
Securing our bread bowl - safeguarding growers through collective efficiency
DURATION: approx 45 mins

Follow the journey of a farmer who has grown from member to Deputy Chair for one of Australia’s largest co-operatives.

Co-operative Bulk Handling, or CBH, is Australia’s largest co-operative and one of the nation’s biggest agribusinesses, exporting the grain of 4,000 West Aussie farmers.

Formed by farmers over 85 years ago it has a fascinating story, with lots of triumphs and tribulations along the way.

Episode 5 Part 2: Roundtable
Sharing knowledge for the better
DURATION: approx 60 mins

Join journalist Pete Lewis with special guests: Wally Newman (farmer), Phillip Guthrie (Birchip Cropping Group), Kelly Pearce (Wheatbelt Science) and Melina Morrison (BCCM).

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