The Government’s recent announcement of $2.5million support for farmers to establish new cooperatives comes as welcome news for farmers looking to build farm business profitability.
Industry peak body, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, will receive $2.5m and Southern Cross University $500,000 to help farmers, fisheries and foresters establish farm cooperatives and other collaborative business models to boost their negotiating power with buyers in the marketplace.
The initiative, announced by Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, closely aligns with the National Farmers Federation’s 2030 Roadmap which places new farm business governance models that help farmers better plan for the future, manage risk, and increase profit as critical in reaching our $100 Billion goal for Agriculture.
Ag cooperatives can help farm businesses better manage uncompetitive markets, build scale in terms of sales and purchasing, and be a great source of information.
Today, a number of Australia’s largest agriculture businesses are cooperatives but there is scope to grow this even further.
NFF President Fiona Simson said that Minister McKenzie’s initiative recognises the importance of new business models that support Australia’s family farms and rural communities.
“As a farmer that has seen firsthand the major contribution a co-op can make to building a farm business, I welcome this new investment by the Government,” NFF President Ms Simson said.
“Farmers have long looked to RD&E to improve their farming practices – this initiative extends that to supporting their search for innovative business models.”
“While drought is impacting so many farming businesses across Australia, we know the rain will come.
“When it does, it’s these kinds of initiatives that will help build the profitability of farming businesses and, with it, their preparedness for the next drought.”