Where can I find more information on collaborative/cooperative farming models?

All this week on Table Talk we are discussing Collaborative Farming Models.

Our three part series includes:

  1. Collaborative and Co-operative Farming Models: An Introduction
  2. The Collaborative King: John Gladigau of Bulla Burra Farms
  3. Where can I find more information on collaborative/cooperative farming models?

In our final post for the week, we round up some useful online tools and guides to help you further your collaborative dream. But firstly, we wanted to ask:

‘Who is your collaborative farming hero?’

Yesterday, we shared our chat with the Collaboration King, John Gladigau, and now we want to know who inspires you! Who do you know that connects people, shares their knowledge and time or perhaps you know of a producer group that works together in new and innovative ways etc. Please let us know by commenting below or on our social media accounts.

Farming Together Resources

Co-operatives in Australia – a manual Farm Co-operatives & Collaboration Pilot Program, Co-ops NSW

Co-operatives offer a business and organisational structure that delivers for people and their communities. This is a downloadable guide to understanding, starting, planning and running a co-op in NSW.

How to choose your Co-op Type | Farming Together – 2018

There are two types of co-operative under Australian law:

  • Distributing co-operative (for profit)
  • Non-distributing co-operative (not for profit) – which can be either: with share capital OR without share capital

Distributing or non-distributing co-op? Learn more here.

Co-op Builder Farming Together

A free step-by-step tool to help those setting up a co-op to prepare and understand the legal documentation required for:

Distributing Co-operative: This Co-op Builder will guide you to customise a constitution and a disclosure statement for a distributing co-operative (trading co-operative in Queensland).

  • Constitution Builder
  • Disclosure Statement Builder

Non-distributing Co-operative with Shares: This Co-op Builder will help you draft the constitution for this type of co-operative.

Non-distributing Co-operative without Shares: This Co-op Builder will help you draft the constitution for this type of co-operative.

Farming Together Case studies

Plus, there is also a a number of online courses available. Click here or on the picture below to learn more.

Collaborative Farming Resources

Collaborative Business Models | Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture – Information Sheet

This paper provides an overview of collaborative business models and their advantages and issues. Understand the different models of collaboration available (including co-operatives and collaborative businesses) and the benefits/issues with them.

Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms | Cornell University Cooperative Extension

This brochure introduces collaborative marketing to small to mid-sized farmers who are considering joining with several like-minded producers to market and distribute farm products.

The key points these document covers are:

  • an introduction to collaborative marketing
  • the likely successes, creating a collaborative marketing strategy
  • collaborative marketing business structures
  • legal assistance in the development of collaborative Marketing agreements
  • managing common collaborative marketing problems
  • small farm collaborative marketing questions and answers

A worksheet to help you organize the basic aspects of collaborative marketing is included.

Team Farming – 2 – How to Share Common Ground | Elizabeth Williams, DTN/The Progressive Farmer

This news article investigates three collaborative farming ventures in America and Australia. No matter how different these successful operations are they attribute their success to sharing similar values, being able to resolve conflicts, opening lines of communication and demonstrating respect for each other.

Collaborate to survive and thrive – Nuffield International |  John Gladigau, 2006 Nuffield Australia Scholar

This scholarship paper written by John Gladigau documents his personal journey of changing the business structure of his family farm and a study in collaborative global farming ventures and the huge potential to the Australian farming industry.

Collaborative Farming 2 – Dean Wormald & Adrian Gava  Ag Excellence Alliance

Read a video transcript of Mallee farmers Dean Wormald and Adrian and Heather Gava who recently joined forces on a collaborative farming venture.

“The new business that we’ve set up is pretty much bringing together two farming families and where the original families still continue to own the land, and then the new company works that as one entity. Everything that is spent to run the farm is 50/50 We lease the farms, so in other words, the new identity: if I own 10,000, I get leased 10,000.”

Co-operative Resources

Licensing and registrations – Co-operatives – VIC | Consumer Affairs Victoria

Start here if considering setting up a co-operative in Victoria. A government website where co-operatives can gain information and links to licensing and registration in Victoria.

Co-operatives – Tas Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading, Tasmanian Government

On September 1, 2015, the Cooperatives Act 1999 was replaced by the Co-operatives National Law (Tasmania) Act 2015 and the Co-operatives National Law (Tasmania) Local Regulations 2015.

Links to a Fact Sheet explaining the Co-operatives National Law and new forms are available.

Registering a co-operative – NSW | NSW Government, Fair Trading

Guides you through the three steps to registering a co-operative with links to news, updates in law, video and audio plus links to associated forms.

Cooperatives – QLD Queensland Government

A government website for co-operatives in QLD with links to registering, governance, forms and fees, co-op search and ending a co-op. Also has PDF downloadable Cooperatives Act 1997 and Cooperative Regulation 1997.

Register a Co-operative – WA Dept Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Govt. Western Australia

This government website outlines the nine steps to take to register a co-operative in WA.

Cooperative: Register the most suitable structure for your business. Business Victoria

The page provides information on the co-operative business model, the advantages, and disadvantages, key factors for choosing this structure and how to register as a co-operative.

Links are provided to help you choose the right business structure if the cooperative model is not what you are looking for plus links to licenses and registration and finding grants and assistance.

Business and Operations Plan Guide for the Co-op Builder Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals

This is a guide for helping you to prepare a business and operations plan for starting a co-op. There are a list of questions to consider when developing the co-op business plan under headings:

  • operations
  • finances
  • logistics
  • product development
  • management

Key Legal Issues for Co-Operatives in Australia | Ms Ann Apps, University of Newcastle

This submission summarises a number of legal issues faced by the co-operative model in Australia.

Key sections in this paper cover:

  • diversity of business models
  • active membership
  • taxation issues and intergenerational asset lock
  • corporate governance and social responsibility
  • accounting standards
  • co-operative federalism and the quest for uniform co-operative laws

The conclusion is that government take a more active role in legislating to promote and protect the cooperative business model in Australia.

Who knew Australians were so co-operative? The size and scope of mutually owned co-ops in Australia | The Australia Institute

A paper looking at the number of Australians who are members of a co-operative and the lack of community awareness about.

Conclusion: co-ops play a significant role in the economy and society. They have a low profile. Policy makers misunderstand consumer understanding of co-ops. Co-ops need to explain ownership structure and benefits to members. Government needs to be more aware of the contribution to community and benefits to members.

Building a Better Australia: 50+ Stories of Co-operation BCCM, Toro Media

This document provides case studies on some of Australia’s leading co-operatives and describes the significant role that co-operatives play in the economic vitality and community life of Australia.

Agricultural Cooperatives in the Netherlands: Key Success Factors Quebec International Summit of Co-operatives 2016

This paper discusses the five reasons for the ongoing success of agricultural cooperatives in the Netherlands.

The key factors this document looks at are:

  • historical
  • enabling legislation
  • effective member control
  • membership homogeneity
  • life cycle of (federative) cooperatives

The Relationship Between Members’ Trust and Participation in the Governance of Cooperatives: The Role of Organizational Commitment IFAMA

This paper aims to explain the participation of members in the governance of agricultural cooperatives in France based on trust and organizational commitment. The results of this study display that trust is the starting point which explains a member’s favorable behavior towards his/her cooperative. Members’ trust in their cooperative depends on the cooperative’s capacity to act competently and reliably and to make the right decisions while still showing goodwill, remaining close to members, considering their demands and concern for their interests.

Investment Decisions in New Generation Cooperatives: A Case Study of Value Added Products (VAP) Cooperative Hubertus Puaha & Daniel S. Tilley, Dept of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

A case study of Value Added Products (VAP) Cooperative explaining the phenomena of the new generation cooperatives development is important in understanding why some producers invest in the new generation cooperative investment and some do not.

Results suggest that non monetary benefits from investment are significant factors that influence producer investment decisions in the new generation cooperative.


No of any great resources out there?! Please let us know.

That’s it for another week on Table Talk. We will be back next week with a brand new theme!

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