The Cooperatives Alliance, a group of Northern Rivers Co‐operatives met in Coffs Harbour to plan the organisation’s activities for 2017. The Alliance membership is comprised of eleven member Co-operatives based on the NSW North Coast. Local berry cooperative Oz Group Co-op hosted the meeting at its new Coffs Harbour packing facility and welcomed representatives from Northern Co-operative Meat Company (NCMC), Norco, Ballina Fishermans Co-op and the Clarence River Fishermens Co-op.
The Cooperatives Alliance members are strong advocates for the farming sector in the Northern Rivers with more than a billion dollars going into the economy of Northern NSW from Alliance members. The Alliance members directly employ over two thousand people and accounts for well over a billion dollars in gross revenues for New South Wales. These Co‐operatives are owned and managed by local people for the benefit of member farmers and the community of the Northern Rivers.
John Seccombe, Chairman of NCMC and Cooperatives Alliance said “Alliance members discuss regional issues and identify priorities for the group to work on”. Once the group has identified problems and possible solutions, they will seek relevant Government support, whether it’s Local, State or Federal. “We present an exciting opportunity for all levels of Government to collaborate with some of the largest employers in the region to address real concerns of people on the North Coast and we are prepared to commit our collective resources to that process” said Mr Seccombe.
The Alliance identified five key areas of focus including improving local road and bridge infrastructure and working with local providers to deliver improved social services to people in rural areas.