Co-operative Farming: March 2022 news

23 March 2022

Record-breaking floods devastate farmers, businesses, and communities

Across Australia we have been shocked and dismayed by the recent flood disaster in Queensland and New South Wales. Farming communities have been hit particularly hard, with heartbreaking crop and livestock losses, as well as impacts to infrastructure and equipment. There has also been an enormous impact at the community level, with thousands of people experiencing the trauma of the initial flood event and now the long clean-up.

The BCCM has continued to advocate on behalf of the sector and local communities. Many of our member co-ops, including Norco, The Casino Food Co-op, RACQ and Summerland Credit Union, have been instrumental in looking after people on the ground. Follow our ongoing updates and advocacy efforts, and donate to the Australian Mutuals Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Fund, which will support the recovery efforts in conjunction with local co-operatives and mutuals in affected areas.

Last week Melina Morrison, BCCM CEO, called for a National Co-operative Disaster Recovery Centre of Excellence to be set up in Lismore in order to study the responses of the anchor co-ops and mutuals in the Northern Rivers and to share those findings with the broader community, especially disaster-prone regions.

The co-op connecting everyday Australians to the renewable energy revolution – new podcast episode 13

In this Meet the Co-op Farmers episode rural journalist Michael Cavanagh talks to Peter Fraser, President of Community Energy 4 Goulburn (CE4G) and board member of Goulburn Community Energy Co-op. The Co-op is stepping up to provide their local community with the opportunity to invest in solar power, and to become changemakers through community-owned renewable energy.

The podcast examines how the local community in Goulburn and its surrounds got behind the vision for solar energy and why the co-operative model was the ideal solution for the project. Michael and Peter also discuss how everyday Australians can invest in and support renewable energy, and why this project is particularly good news for regional Australia.

Listen now via our websiteSpotify or Apple, or read about Goulburn Community Energy Co-op’s long journey and discover why their powerful vision is becoming a model for other communities.

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 the people of Sea Lake community covered, whether they need bolts from the hardware or beers from the hotel.

Co-op farming sector news

Mutuals see greater role in disaster resilience

Why we need to get back to thinking of co-operative and mutual enterprise as a social business

Australian co-op sector responds to catastrophic Queensland and NSW floods

Congratulations to Australia’s largest fishing co-operative, Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative, on being the first Australian fishing co-op to join the International Cooperative Fisheries Organisation (ICFO) as its 21st member.

Upskill your team in 2022 with BCCM courses

An Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals
This accessible and affordable 2-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 12 April. Watch the extract of the interview with agricultural co-op leader Doriana Mangili 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 later 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

As dedicated workers who generate high-quality produce that enjoys an international reputation, Australian farmers and fishermen have a proud history of resilience and tenacity. The ABC documentary, Fightback Farmers: Feeding Australia Together, showcases Australian dairy farmers and lobster fishermen who have harnessed the co-op model and are working together to overcome the challenges of 21st century farming.

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.

Banner image source: Norco Co-operative Limited via Facebook

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