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Learning Together Series: The Co-operative Advantage

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Event description

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

Learning Together Series: The Co-operative Advantage (Intermediate level)

A 6-week (one session per week) intermediary level of online learning session and is recommended for coops and coop members. 

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 (GST inclusive).

Depending on enrolments, the sessions will be 60 (if between 10 - 15 enrolments) or 90 minutes (if over 15 enrolments).  The sessions will be held weekly on Wednesdays between 1230 and 1330 AEST (or 1400 AEST depending on enrolments).

The course will run weekly commencing Wednesday 19th August 2020. In between sessions, participants will be part of a learning community. 

This series will explore the factors that drive the competitive advantage of agricultural co-operatives. It will look at this question through the lens of the producer value chain - through case studies of coops in supply management, marketing and sales, and then specifically with respect to data.

Aggregation is the super power of co-ops.  Aggregation of supply reduces input costs for members, aggregation of members allows sales into new markets, not achievable by individuals and aggregation of data allows for more relevant and robust insights.

The sessions will be facilitated and guest speakers from the field and the sector co-op.


Session Title

19 August

Scene Setting - the Co-op Advantage

26 August

Learning Together on line, in the field and as a coop community 

2 September

Reducing input costs

9 September

Accessing new markets

16 September

Creating value from data

23 September

Learning Harvest

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
Some prior knowledge of co-ops is required to register for this 6 week course.

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 

If enrolments exceed 15 for this program the time line will be 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes as advertised. Participants will be advised prior to session 1.

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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