CO-OP Farmers release podcasts to share in their stories from the farming frontline

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This candid podcast series tells the stories and adventures of farmers transforming their businesses by working together in co-ops

Natalie Browning features in the podcast How Australia’s largest grain exporter works from one of the world’s biggest co-operatives, CBH – photo Tony-McDonough

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.”

Mountain Milk Chair Stuart Crosthwaite starts off the series of podcasts with The little dairy co-operative that could

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.

Other co-operative farmers at the forefront of agriculture interviewed include Sweeter Bananas Doriana Mangili in How a little banana saved our farms

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

Already live

The little dairy co-operative that could –

Stuart Crosthwaite, Mountain Milk

How a little banana saved our farms

Doriana Mangili, Sweeter Banana

MAY 20

How Australia’s largest grain exporter works – Natalie Browning, CBH

MAY 27

A fishing co-op formed with friendship – Rodger Long, Limestone Coast

JUNE 3

The farmer-owned berry company making $200 million a year

Stephen Thandi, Oz Group and fruit co-operatives

JUNE 10

How travelling the world’s farms helped Emma find the best way to run her huge cattle business – Emma Robinson, Beef Collaboration Project

JUNE 17

What’s at the heart of a community co-operative? – Kerry Murphy, TAFCO

JUNE 24

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