Land to Market is the first (farmer-driven market transformation) program in this country to identify and address the need and emerging demand for ecological outcomes verification. Land to Market Australia grew out of the Australian Holistic Management Cooperative Project, made possible by support from the Australian Government’s Farming Together program. The Land to Market program is differentiated from others in that it is a grassroots, bottom-up concept driven by Australian farmers and producers themselves. In Australia, the program was initiated by a consortium of committed land stewards from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland – who deserve recognition for the work they are already doing – conceived a farmer-driven market transformation program to build the community they live in and build the broader community support they need. The global movement is being led by Savory Institute in collaboration with their network of farmers around the world.
- As a farmer owned and run Co-operative (Australian Holistic Management Co-operative), Land to Market offers farmers:
- services for the ecological monitoring and regeneration of agricultural land, and
- an outcomes-based verification that can be used as a brand in the marketplace that gives consumers and businesses the opportunity to make their spending decisions in a way that recognises farmers’ efforts to care for their land.
- Land to Market has 35 members and was recently awarded the Grand Champion Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Award by NSW Landcare and Local Land Services.
The Catalyst for Change
- With the increasing pressures and implications of climate change on local and global communities, this group looked to develop an innovative way forward for land, soil and food production.
- Encourage sustainable and regenerative practices across Australia.
- Build a brand for Australia founded under sustainable regenerative practices.
- Be part of a co-operative business where each member as equal share in the business.
- Utilise a credible and transparent sourcing verification program based on actual ecological outcomes.
- Provide an opportunity for restaurants, food producers, etc to convey a valuable story of hope, optimism and proven regeneration to their own patrons.
- Create a supportive network for farmers practicing regenerative agriculture.
- Building a service based co-op that is entirely dependent on farmer fees, as compared to a co-op that trades in physical product.
- Gaining traction for a completely novel service to gain market recognition for the ways that farmers are caring for their land.
- Building the value proposition around our service of Ecological Outcome Verification.
- Understand the co-op model, and as a different corporate entity, why it is the best approach for your situation.
- Always give members and their interests priority – they are the unique support base for your co-op.
- Carefully consider your strategic choices and ensure that the opportunities don’t cause you to lose focus.