Livestock co-op to focus on markets

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithCountryman
South Stirlings' farmer Derek Curwen.
Camera IconSouth Stirlings' farmer Derek Curwen. Credit: Laurie Benson

Farmers in the Great Southern will benefit from a new farmer-owned Stirlings to Coast Farmers Co-operative, which will launch next week.

The co-op will ensure local high-quality lamb and beef will be supplied for domestic and international high-value markets.

Farmers will have direct access to supply logistics and distribution services where the products are distributed to where they can be value-added on or off-farm, before being aggregated for supply to processors and customers.

Co-operative ambassador Peter Trefort said WA farmers would now have the opportunity to take advantage of high-value export markets.

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“This is by building scale of supply and working with processors to ensure we can provide a consistent product with traceability and assurance,” he said.

“Farmers who are willing to adapt their production systems to meet market requirements will also be provided with support to improve their livestock genetics and production systems.

“We will introduce incentives for improved performance and access to product marketing and branding information that consumers are demanding.

“The co-op is an example of what farmers can do when they get organised and start working more collaboratively together.”

The co-operative is expected to be fully operational within five years and is anticipated to sell 200,000 lambs and 35,000 cattle annually once running.

The co-op comes after a two-year feasibility study by the SCF research group and has been a grassroots, industry-driven project aimed at boosting long-term farm productivity and competitiveness.

The office will be in Albany and information on the co-op will be available at two SCF workshops in Cranbrook and Jerramungup in March.

The Co-op Project is funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Grower Group and made possible by the Royalties For Regions program and the Commonwealth Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program.

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