Co-operative Farming: April 2022 news

28 April 2022

For the long haul: The co-op that’s creating new opportunities for Eyre Peninsula grain growers

Mining companies and farmers are frequently adversaries, with very different plans for the natural resources in a region. However, through the formation of a co-op, Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling, the relationship between local grain growers and mining company Iron Road is characterised by co-operation, open communication and a genuine desire to create mutually beneficial outcomes.

In our latest podcast, agricultural journalist Michael Cavanagh talks to Tim Scholz, local farmer, director and executive officer of EPCBH and principal of stakeholder engagement with mining company Iron Road. They discuss how local grain growers and Iron Road are working together to find a win-win situation, as well as how the planned deep-water port at Cape Hardy could allow for grain and magnetite exports. Michael and Tim also reflect on why co-ops give small farmers a voice and can empower them to collectively address sustainability challenges impacting their businesses and the wider community.

Listen now via our websiteSpotify or Apple, or read about the journey so far for Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling.

Next episode: In our next episode, meet Alison McLelland and John Clohesy, Secretary and Chair of the Sea Lake Hotel Co-operative. Hear how the co-op has revitalised an important community asset, proving a community meeting place and raising the profile of this proud Victorian town.

After the floods: Recovery and resilience

We know that the clean-up is far from over for communities in New South Wales and Queensland who were impacted by flooding in February and March. The BCCM continues to advocate for affected co-operatives and mutuals, particularly as discussions now focus on mitigation strategies and future planning.

The NSW Government has launched the 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry. This independent inquiry will examine flood causes, preparedness, responses and recovery. The submission portal is now open and will close on 20 May – we encourage co-operators to have a voice in this discussion.

Discover how co-ops and mutuals are living out the co-operative spirit by putting people before profit and how they are supporting their local communities as they recover from the floods. You can also donate to the Australian Mutuals Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Fund, which is supporting recovery efforts in impacted communities.

Co-op farming sector news

BCCM secures an amendment to eligibility criteria to ensure Victorian food co-ops can apply for funding from the Future Healthy initiative to boost food hubs

Celebrating the third anniversary of the passing of landmark legislation to enable Mutual Capital Instruments (MCIs) for federally registered co-operative and mutual businesses

CBH supports regional Western Australia with 2022 CBH Grass Roots Community Grant recipients announced

Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative Limited (GFC) awarded $1,926,000 Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) grant

Norco milk price to farmers to increase to support flood recovery

Upskill your team in 2022 with BCCM courses

An Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals
This accessible and affordable two-hour online induction training has been designed to educate and to inspire people working in the sector to understand more about the unique role and contribution of co-operatives and mutuals. Give your staff a strong start to the year by sending them to our next course on 10 May. Watch the extract of the interview with social enterprise leader Richard Warner from the last course. Each course introduces a new co-op leader in conversation.

Co-operative Financials and Governance for Accountants and Lawyers CPD course
Originally planned for this month, due to the widespread impact of the floods, this course has been rescheduled. Now taking place from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm on 20, 25 and 27 October, this course will equip practitioners with the relevant knowledge to advise co-ops on setting up and running growing businesses. Book now, this course will run only once in 2022.

A wealth of knowledge at your fingertips: Co-operative Farming tools

In our Stories collection, you can meet some of the people behind Australia’s farming, forestry and fishery co-ops, and discover how co-ops help communities and businesses work together for the common good. Be inspired by their stories and learn more about where high-quality Australian food and natural resources come from.

Does your co-op have a story to share? Tell us more so that we can introduce you to the Co-operative Farming community.

We’re here to help

If you have questions or would like more information or support to planstart or run a co-op, please get in touch with the Co-operative Farming team.


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Co-operative Farming: December 2022 news

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Co-operative Farming: October 2022 news

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28 September 2022

Co-operative Farming: September 2022 news

The BCCM has launched its policy blueprint for the Victorian election calling on political parties to commit to measures to support the growth of co-ops and mutuals in the State.