Cooperative Farming conversations

Fortnightly, Wednesdays from 6pm, 17 June-23 October 2020

Primary producers are nothing if not resilient, but the past decade has brought unprecedented challenges: drought, fires, floods, global commodity and export market impacts, COVID-19 restrictions, issues highlighted in the Banking Royal Commission and investment barriers, which have led many family farms into forced sales.

Cooperative farming can help to prevent farm sell-offs, affording farmers competitive and market advantage thanks to the collective power of the coop, which enables members to scale, collaborate and innovate effectively.

A new live-streamed series, Co-operative Conversations, gives voice to farmers and other primary producers who are successfully using cooperative farming business models to transform their businesses and communities.

The series is hosted by well-known agricultural journalist Pete Lewis, and will showcase ‘candid conversations and the real-life experiences of Australia’s farming frontline’ via one-on-one interviews and round-table discussions with primary producers and the businesses they work with, to give listeners an in-depth look at how cooperative business models work in challenge or crisis situations, ‘where the model does and doesn’t succeed, and just how relevant and transformational it can be’, states the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) media release for the series.

“There has never been a better time to come together and explore ways to protect Australia’s farming businesses and communities, and the huge contribution they make to supply, biosecurity and the economy,” said Melina Morrison, BCCM CEO.

“The stories we are telling are inspiring in this period of upheaval.

“Through the experiences of other farmers, and education from experts, this series will show primary producers how they can build resilience and growth in their business by coming together in a cooperative.”

The first episode of the 10-episode series will be released at 6pm on Wednesday 17 June 2020 AEST, with successive episodes releasing fortnightly thereafter until 23 October. The series will be available online at

What is the Co-operative Farming project?

The Co-operative Farming project is supported by the federal government Department of Agriculture and delivered by BCCM. The program, states the BCCM, aims ‘to increase information, education and awareness of the cooperative business model and other collaborative efforts along the supply chain as an important pathway to reducing costs and improving production efficiencies, growing agricultural production and maximising farm gate returns’.

Registration and further information

To register for the series, visit the event web page.

For more information, contact Kate Cox on 0411 422 889 or