Nearly 70 new agri-focused co-operatives have been started in just the first month of an online co-op builder backed by the Federal Government.
The free DIY builder, developed for the national Farming Together program, is being used by farm groups across the country.
Farming Together project director Lorraine Gordon said people did not realise how simple it was to form a co-op.
‘‘A co-op structure has so many benefits, including tax benefits,’’ Ms Gordon said.
‘‘Co-ops help secure discount bulk pricing for farm inputs.
‘‘They traditionally underpin equipment and infrastructure to value-add primary production.
‘‘And we are seeing a growing appetite for co-operative marketing structures.’’
Developed in conjunction with Australia’s peak body for co-ops, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, the online tool has been written by some of the country’s leading experts in co-op law and education.
‘‘Co-operatives are an important way for small, regional and ag-based businesses to compete in markets that favour larger players,’’ BCCM chief executive officer Melina Morrison said.
■For the free template, go to: http://co-opbuilder.agworks.