One of the country’s most visionary co-ops is heading confidently into its second century with new support from the Australian Government.
The Berry co-op in southern NSW recently received $131,000 from the national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program, known as Farming Together, to help strengthen the co-op owned and managed by local farmers.
Formed in 1911, the co-op last year installed processing equipment, and is now handling 2.5m litres milk/year, assuring a fair farmgate price for its six suppliers. Its South Coast Dairy branded full-cream, light and skim milk is sold across the South Coast NSW, and as far afield as Orange, Wyong and Sydney. Employment leverage rates mean the enterprise employs a total of 92 people on the co-op’s farms, processing lines and logistics.
Berry co-op secured the Farming Together support to help develop a strategic plan, a business plan and a governance program as well as a succession plan and marketing plan.
General Manager Kara Duncan said: “This will help consolidate our co-op. It will establish it for another 100 years. I called our project ‘Strengthening Berry Co-op’ which means reinforcing what we had and making it stronger. I hope the funding will see us grow our product portfolio even more, grow our business and employ more people, while supporting the people who support us every day when they make the choice to buy a multi-award-winning, locally produced milk.”