A GARLIC-growers co-op, formed through the national Farming Together program, has just dispatched its largest-ever bulk order, at prices more than double the prevailing wholesale price.
The Braidwood Garlic Growers delivered the 100kg consignment to a Newcastle-based processor.
It was a deal that netted $22/kg at a time when the Sydney wholesale market price was $10/kg.
There are orders for a 50kg consignment and another for 20kg, meaning that the group has sold out its first season’s production.
Helen Lynch, from the group’s working party, said the deal would never have happened had the group not formed themselves into a co-op.
She added that the 12 non-growing members of the 26-member co-op will now come into full production for next season’s harvest as a result of the demand and the group’s capacity to sell.
“Also, the co-op structure meant we could apply new criteria to our produce – the size, the trim – and that lifted our overall quality,” she said.
- Roy's Purple Garlic spreading around the nation
- Meeniyan Garlic Festival | Photos + Video
- Future looking good for Australian garlic growers as demand grows
And, working collaboratively, the group organised cost-efficient transport to deliver the consignment to the processor, who has already put in another order.
“We could never have achieved all this before,” Ms Lynch said.
“The co-op structure has lifted our game.”
The group has developed its co-op with the help of $60,000 of support from Farming Together, an Australian Government-back initiative.
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program (known as Farming Together) is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said it was an exciting opening season for the Braidwood garlic co-op.
“It’s an important step towards import replacement. Australia currently imports about 15,000 tonnes of garlic annually. Only 20 per cent of garlic sold in Australia is locally grown,” Ms Gordon said.
Another round of Farming Together expert advice opened on February 1 and closes on March 31, 2018.
Ms Gordon said the program is looking for cutting-edge, legacy-building projects that encourage transferable knowledge, with the capacity to change the face of your industry.
“Our proven ag-consultants can assist to advance your projects through legal advice, appropriate business structures and strategies, raising capital, logistics/supply chain management, exporting, e-commerce such as trading platforms, facilitation, compliance and quality assurance, just to name a few,” she said.
The support is available to groups of two or more non-related Australian farmers registered under ATO guidelines.
Go to www.farmingtogether.com.au, click the green button and fill in the super-easy form. It takes 15 minutes.
Farming Together has assembled about 200 of Australia’s leading agri-consultants who are providing specialist help to 730 groups, involving almost 20,000 primary producers nationally – and all within 16 months.
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government.
It comprises a experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
- Copy supplied by Southern Cross University.