Co-operative Conversations episode 1

17 June 2020 18:30 - 19:30


Could co-operative farming future proof Australian farmers?

There has never been a more important time to come together and explore ways to protect Australia’s farming businesses and communities, and the huge contribution they make to supply, biosecurity and the economy. Farmers and other primary producers are known for their resilience, but in the last few years they have faced unprecedented business challenges: natural disasters, drought, fires, floods, COVID-19, issues highlighted in the Banking Royal Commission, navigating geopolitical trade disruptions, or the problem of raising working capital without ‘selling the farm’.

Co-operative farming is seen as one model that can assist, giving farmers competitive advantage and market power by scaling, collaborating and innovating.

Hosted by renowned agricultural journalist Pete Lewis, the candid conversation begins with co-op leaders, agricultural experts and primary producers from Australia and overseas debating and discussing the future of farming and if the co-operative model could be an option to future proof our home-grown agribusinesses.

What are the situations where co-operatives work and what does it take to make them succeed? Where, when and why do they fail? Hear the nation’s best agricultural experts debunk some myths about co-operative farming. And find out more about the government’s $2.5 million Starting New Farm Co-operatives program.

Our expert discussion panel comprises of:
  • Dr Michael Cook: University of Missouri
  • Kevin Franey TNR Chartered Accountants
  • Melina Morrison CEO BCCM
  • Emma Thomas CEO Achmea
  • Emma Robinson Beef Collaboration Project Inc
  • Fiona Simson – President National Farmers Federation
  • Jimmy Wilson CEO CBH Group


Episode host – Pete Lewis

Join Pete Lewis for an inspiring interview series as he explores the journeys of some of Australia’s most interesting and successful co-operatives. Pete’s long and varied experience as a journalist specialising in agriculture will ensure he gets to the heart of the issues you want to hear about.

A wool shed on a rural farm, Australia

Other Events

22 May 2021
The Big Co-op Conversation – Future Proofing Aussie Food
Join us for a live stream conversation from Primex with our host, respected local reporter, Michael Cavanagh.
21 October 2020
Co-operative Conversations episode 10
Are you a farmer, fisher or forester interested in setting up, or improving the running of your co-operative, and you’ve been told that it’s harder to raise capital in a co-op or to obtain loans? This conversation is for you.
14 October 2020
Co-operative Conversations episode 9 part 2: roundtable
This roundtable examines group buying and how co-ops add value and provide services through innovation and understanding their members, their customers and their communities. Our panelists are drawn from businesses that have successfully harnessed the power of their members to collaboratively purchase and/or supply food, agricultural products and related services.