The key differences between a co-operative and a company show that both business structures have their benefits, however the following reasons make a co-operative structure the best choice for Yenda Producers.
a) Allowing members to collectively achieve a goal. This can be demonstrated through the use of a combined buying power which passes on the better prices to the member, and investment into capital items such as fertiliser spreaders and trucks for the benefit of the members.
b) Ownership and voting power in a business. The low cost of membership allows for anyone to have equity in the Yenda Prods. In addition, membership allows a member to vote on the direction of the Yenda Prods at the AGM, and
c) Financial returns. A member is rewarded in 3 ways;
(i) through dividends, (paid on current shareholding)
(ii) rebates (% return based on annual dealings with the co-op)
(iii) reinvestment by the co-op into improved assets and member services. Dividends and rebates are paid annually based on the performance of the co-op for the current financial period and at the discretion of the board. All members must maintain active trading with the co-op ensuring all members contribute to the success of the Yenda Prods.
d) Community returns. A co-operative provides returns to other stakeholders within the community. This is achieved by employment of local staff, support to local education centres, charities and sporting groups. As a business that relies on local members for support, the Yenda Prods endeavours to source the majority of its business supplies locally.
The Principles of a Co-operative: All co-operatives are generally governed by the same seven core principles, which were adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. The principles, listed within Section 10 of the Co-operative Nation Law, are:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership;
2. Democratic Member Control;
3. Member Economic Participation;
4. Autonomy and Independence;
5. Education, Training and Information;
6. Co-operation among Co-operatives; and
7. Concern for the Community.
Further information on the seven principles can be located via the following links:
Adoption of the Co-operative National Law (2012,) (CNL)
Co-operatives are administered by the regulatory body within their respective state. In the instance of NSW, this body is the Department of Fair Trading. Each state traditionally had their own Act which gave rules and guidance to their state. In 2012, the CNL was introduced and superseded any State Act if that state adopted the CNL. As it stands, the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania have adopted the CNL with the remaining states electing to continue using their existing Act. The main purpose of the CNL is to allow for a uniform Federal Act to preside over all states equally, aimed at easing cross border trade.
To become a member of the Yenda Producers Co-operative, please download and fill out this application form and then submit it in person at one of the Yenda Producers branches in Yenda, Leeton or Griffith.