Co-operative Conversations episode 6 part 1: interview

26 August 2020 18:30 - 19:15


Reclaiming market power: from competitors to collaborators

The Limestone Coast Fishermen’s Co-op is locally owned and operated by 27 local fishing family businesses. Just two years old, it started out of necessity and is growing to become a very important part of its local community.

Southern Rock Lobster is South Australia’s largest wild catch fishery by value, producing 1539 tonnes valued at $136 million. The co-op began when a group of crayfish fishermen from across South East South Australia’s Limestone Coast saw a need to proactively address the structural change occurring in their industry. They strongly believe their move to a co-operative structure has not only loosened the grip of corporately-owned factories and processors on their local seafood industry, it has also brought longer term benefits for the smaller, generational fishing families and their coastal towns and communities.

This took collaboration in order to combine their supply volume and power and access the export and global markets they could not reach alone. They pooled their resources into a business they now own together.

They have been successful and are now growing with support from other co-ops like the Geraldton Fisherman’s Co-op. They recently secured  $348,000 from the PIRSA Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to develop a facility in Beachport which, combined with their existing facility in Port MacDonnell, will see the holding capacity of live Rock Lobster increase by around 10 tonnes across both processing locations.

Hear about the many barriers they have had to overcome, and how they learned to trust each other enough to pool their capital and the benefit it has had on their local community. All this when Pete Lewis interviews Limestone Coast Fishermen’s Co-op founding member and inaugural Chair Rodger Long in this unique livestream episode of Co-operative Conversations.

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.


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