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Learning Together Series: Protected Habitat

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Event description

Ethical Fields and Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutual (BCCM) presents:

Learning Together Series: Protective Habitat (Intermediate level)

A 6-week (one session per week) online learning program with a focus on how agricultural producers can monetise the value of their sustainable farming practices. This program is recommended for farmers and aligned stakeholders interested in opportunities for co-operative ownership of a sustainable farming brand.

There are educational bursaries available through the Co-operative Farming project, details are shown below for criteria. If you are eligible for a bursary, this reduces the cost to you, from $550 to $55 (including GST).

The sessions will be between 60 and 90 minutes and will be held weekly on Fridays starting from 12.30 AEST.

The course will run weekly commencing Friday 21st August 2020. In between sessions participants will be part of a learning community. 

This series will focus on how coops can create and capture value for their members and their customers, by prototyping a producer coop that would build and own a Protected Habitat brand. 

The aim is to assist producers to understand the emerging opportunities in sustainable farming and how a cooperative can help maximise the value being created. We will draw on expert participants from farmer groups and practitioners, as well as from the finance, retail, and conservation sectors.

The program will be facilitated and include guest speakers from industry and the co-op sector.

Course overview:


Session Title


(Optional) Check-in

For participants to familiarise themselves with course format and technology


Week #1 - Learning from the field, each other, & case studies

We’ll start by exploring the value that can be created through a Protected Habitat brand – referencing local and international case studies. We aim to draw on the experience of pioneers in the field like Clare Cannon from Woomargama Station.


Week #2 - Measurement: Valuing the benefits of good farming

If it can’t be measured, it can’t be valued. In this session we’ll learn from Andrea Koch (NFF director and soil stewardship expert) about the recent work that has been undertaken to codify and simplify the data measurement challenge. We’ll then apply this thinking to the Protected Habitat model.


Week #3 - Credibility: How to validate good farming practices

Who will vouch for your stewardship? Independent monitoring and governance of farm practices is required to deliver confidence to buyers of environmental outcomes. In this session Cecilia Reibl (Trust for Nature) and Nigel Jones (Biodiversity Conservation Trust) will speak to the evolution of land management agreements with farmers.
18Sep20Week #4 - Monetisation: Capturing & unleashing financial value

As awareness of the need for environmental action is growing, so too does the capital that is likely to flow to support such action. This session is designed to explore the ways that environmental outcomes are beginning to be rewarded by markets. We’ll draw on a panel including James Bentley (NAB Natural Capital), Ben Peacock (New Republic) and Paul Dettmann (Cassinia Environmental).


Week #5 - Learning harvest: Understanding the opportunity

In this week, we bring our thinking together. Participants will be reporting back on their work together to frame the potential of a Protected Habitat brand. We’ll be inviting our experts back to consider the thinking and provide feedback.

Week #6 – Next steps: Initiating an action plan

Subject to the findings from week #5, participants will gather to initiate an action plan for the development of the co-operative that can be tested with key stakeholders.

Your facilitators will be:

Andrew Ward

Andrew is the Co-Founder of and has a focus on pre-formation Co-operatives.  He has assisted the development of local and platform Co-op’s.  Andrew is the Treasurer of the New Economy Network of Australia (NENA), a Director of the Crowd Funding Institute of Australia (CFIA) and Co-Founder of Ethical Fields.

Rohan Clarke

Rohan is the Co-Founder of and Chair of the BCCM’s Platform Co-operative Taskforce.  He has assisted in the development of local and platform Co-op’s. Rohan is Conservation Finance Advisor to Trust for Nature and is co-founder of FairB&B Coop in Australia. Rohan has expertise in financing and technology solutions.

Moira Were AM

Moira is the founder of the Hen House Co-operative based in South Australia. The cooperative seeks to close the gender investment gap. She is a member of the SA Chief Entrepreneurs Advisory Board. Moira has qualifications in social work, adult education, economics and ethics and has recently joined the Ethical Fields team. She was awarded a Order of Australia in 2019 for her services to the community.

Participant requirements
You will need to have:

  • Capacity to participate virtually each week for six weeks (online session plus 30 minutes to an hour offline in between sessions)
  • Willing to complete a pre and post confidential learning survey
  • Prior knowledge of co-ops 

Are you eligible for a bursary?

The Co-operative Farming project is led by BCCM and provides access to educational bursaries to cover 90% of the cost of this series for farmers, fishers and foresters who are interested in co-operatives, or currently engaged within a co-operative. The bursaries are offered to applicants with Australian citizenship or permanent residency from within agricultural communities who can demonstrate their interest in the co-operative business model. A set of questions to test eligibility is included in the ticketing.

  • Full price - $500 (plus GST and booking fee)
  • Subsidized price with Co-operative Farming educational bursary - $50 (plus GST and booking fee)

If you would like to know more about the bursary program click here.

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