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Co-operatives and the Coalition
The Federal Coalition Leader Mr. Tony Abbott made a clear commitment to co-operatives when he visited the Murray Goulburn co-operative processing plant in Commercial Road, Koroit on the 2 May 2013. The major products of the factory are skim milk products, milk protein concentrates, full cream, milk powder, butter, fat filled milk powder and anhydrous milk fat.
Established in 1950, Murray Goulburn has 2589 dairy farmer owners, more than 2,200 employees and $2.29 billion revenue (2011).
At a news conference the Coalition Leader's comments included the following:
It’s great to be here in Koroit at Murray Goulburn. It’s great to be in the electorate of Dan Tehan and it is great to be here with Bruce Billson, the Shadow Minister for Small Business. I want to thank John Pye and everyone else associated with Murray Goulburn for making the three of us so welcome today. I know that a lot of people are doing it tough in the agricultural sector generally and in dairy in particular but there are some important signs of hope and I want to congratulate Murray Goulburn on the arrangement they have entered into with Coles which certainly looks to be for the long term and looks to provide at least some significant price support for local dairy farmers.
So, I think these are all good things and they are a sign of the continuing vibrancy and dynamism of Australia’s agricultural sector. Our agricultural sector has been one of the main stays of our economy from the very beginning and certainly the Coalition believes that agriculture should be one of the five essential pillars of a strong and dynamic economy and we want to build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia and a strong and vibrant agricultural sector is a critical part of that.
Mr. Abbott's comments were followed by the Shadow Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Mr. Bruce Billson:
Thanks Dan, thanks Tony. It is great to be here at Murray Goulburn and we have heard this morning the story of so many communities across our country. Viable, successful, family and farming enterprises. Small businesses add to the quality of life, the vitality of these communities. It is great to see that Coles has entered into a long-term shared purpose relationship with this farming cooperative.
I am optimistic that that is an excellent model that recognises that the big retail profitability relies heavily on the supply chain and particularly our primary producers being viable and profitable as well. Our plan to restore small business hope, reward and opportunity is focussed on viability of farming and family businesses and small enterprises, getting rid of the carbon tax, getting rid of that regulatory burden and overreach, really making sure that success in small business and farming and family enterprises is front of mind for a future Abbott government if we earn that opportunity to lead this nation and recognise a brighter future involves successful agriculture.
Mr Abbott, then, further commented on the 10 year deal between Coles and the Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd for the supply of fresh milk:
I'm encouraged by the fact that Coles has chosen to deal with a farmer-owned co-operative. I think it is a vote of confidence in farmer-owned co-operatives and it's a sign that farmers are keeping control of their own destinies in a way that might not have always been the case until quite recently.
Australia's Co-operative Coin
Australia has a co-operative coin. The collectable $1 coin will be produced by the Royal Australian Mint in recognition of the International Year of Co-operatives 2012. Australia is the first country throughout the world to produce a collectable coin for IYC 2012. The collectable coin is availablr from the Royal Australian Mint in January 2012.
The Australia Mint commemorative $1 coin is uncirculated. The coin features building blocks, which represent the role that co-operatives play in providing stability in a global economy.
The IYC 2012 coin retails at A13.50 and the International Price is A$12,27 plus postage. The product code is 310163. Order online from the Royal Australian Mint.
The Co-operative Option
The essence of co-operative education is education about the co-operation option - individuals meeting together to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of co-operatives. It is critical that nmembers of co-operatives understand the values and principles of co-operation and this is only possible through a process of studying the co-operatives and co-operative values and principles. Without this the ingredients of failure threaten the survival of co-operatives.
The essence of co-operative education is education about the co-operation option.
ICA General Assembly 2011 - Principles
The International Co-operative Alliance General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico, between 14-18 November 2011 will be considering a proposed amendment to the Seventh Co-operative Principle. The proposed amendment has been submitted by the Regional Board of ICA Americas. If adopted, the revised Seventh Co-operative Principle:
Concern for community an environmental sustainability.
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities including the protection ofr the environment through policies approved by their members, promoting the responsible management of natural resources to ensure ecological balance.
Co-operative Schools in the UK
There has been a rapid growth of co-operative schools in the UK. Work to develop co-operative schools has been led by the Co-operative College with support from the Co-operative Group. The first co-operative school was the Reddish Vale Technology College in Stockport. By September 2011 there were 150 co-operaqtive schools with more in consultation processes.
At 8:30 p.m on 29 December ABC1 showed the first of four programs on the People's Supermarket in the UK. The programs were first broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK in early 2011. The People's Supermarket was established in May 2010. Is the People's Supermarket a food co-operative or is it something else?
On behalf of all States and Territories, on 8 November 2011 NSW Fair Trading invited submissions on reporting requirements for small co-operatives. Submissions closed on the 7 December 2011. Seven submissions were received from - NSW Department of Education and training, the Co-operative Federation of Victoria Ltd, the Australian Accounting Standards Board, Co-operatives WA, Mark Snell and the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society Co-operative Ltd.