This candid podcast series tells the stories and adventures of farmers transforming their businesses by working together in co-ops
Featuring leading primary producers, the eight-episode podcast Meet the CO-OP Farmers will address some of the biggest issues in farming and put forward solutions aimed at future-proofing family farms.
The first few episodes have gone live and be heard at: Podcasts
The first podcast was made from an interview exploring the David and Goliath battle of the Victorian Mountain Milk dairy co-operative, forced to fight for their survival after the collapse of Murray Goulburn.
Mountain Milk Chair Stuart Crosthwaite tells renowned agricultural journalist Pete Lewis: “We were not receiving a fair market price for our milk. We had lots and lots of outstanding bills. It was unbelievably stressful financially.
“I was questioning whether I wanted to be farming any more. The co-op structure really hit a cord with us, because everyone was equal.”
Other co-operative farmers at the forefront of agriculture interviewed include Sweeter Bananas Doriana Mangili, Larry McHugh from nut powerhouse Marquis Macadamias and Natalie Browning from one of the world’s biggest co-operatives, CBH.
Farmers, fishers and other primary producers are known for their resilience, but in the last few years they have faced unprecedented challenges: drought, fires, floods, global commodity and export market impacts and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Co-operative farming is seen as giving farmers competitive advantage and market power by scaling, collaborating and innovating.
Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) said: “The stories we are telling are inspiring in this period of upheaval.
“Through the experiences of other farmers and education from experts, this podcast series will show primary producers how they can build resilience and growth in their business by coming together in a co-operative.
“Farmers tell their warts-and-all stories of coming together in co-operatives to make sure they cut out the middle man and take back the supply chain.”
Meet the Co-op Farmers Episodes 1 and 2 are out now, with more released weekly.
It is available for download on iTunes, Spotify and all good podcast hosting platforms.
Or you can log-on at: coopfarming.coop/podcasts
Here are the farmers you will meet on the Co-op podcasts
The little dairy co-operative that could –
Stuart Crosthwaite, Mountain Milk
How a little banana saved our farms
Doriana Mangili, Sweeter Banana
How Australia’s largest grain exporter works – Natalie Browning, CBH
A fishing co-op formed with friendship – Rodger Long, Limestone Coast
The farmer-owned berry company making $200 million a year
Stephen Thandi, Oz Group and fruit co-operatives
How travelling the world’s farms helped Emma find the best way to run her huge cattle business – Emma Robinson, Beef Collaboration Project
What’s at the heart of a community co-operative? – Kerry Murphy, TAFCO
Secrets of the world’s biggest macadamia processing plant –
Larry McHugh, Marquis Macadamias
The eight-episode MEET THE CO-OP FARMERS is available for download on iTunes, Spotify, all good podcast hosting platforms and coopfarming.coop/podcasts