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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Transforming a defunct abattoir into the hub for a meat co-operative

“What we’re looking at now is an organisation that will help us meet the needs of our consumers. And we can work together over the long term,” Mr Parsons noted. “We can have products that the consumers actually demand, right across the board – from wholesaling to retailing on the plate.”

Both a private business model and a co-operative were possible options, but for Grant Baker it was about more than just business. “One of the key considerations was the concept of paddock to plate. The sustainability and food production in South Australia has always been very high on the agenda”, Mr Baker said. “There is no facility in South Australia that allows paddock to plate because they are all the large commercial abattoirs … it would be about profits, whereas with a community and co-operative model it was actually about securing the future of the actual community for the farmers.”

This strong sense of community has resulted in not just primary producers having a share in the co-op, but also cafés, smallgoods producers and even hauliers who are involved in transporting the food from the paddock through to the final product.

Read the rest at Co-operative Farming


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