August 2019

Celebrating our co-operative DNA

The annual awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to the co-operative business sector, were presented on August 15 in Wellington at an event hosted by Cooperative Business NZ – New Zealand’s apex body for co-operatives, mutuals and societies. Pictured above are, left to right: Carl Taylor (CBS Co-op), Emma Parsons (CEO Agrigate, a 50/50 joint venture between LIC and Fonterra), Murray King (LIC) and Rob Hewett (Silver Fern Farms).

LIC wins Co-operative Business of the Year

Murray King, Chairman of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), collected the 2019 Co-operative Business of the Year award on behalf of the Waikato-based, dairy farmer-owned co-op. The DNA of New Zealand’s dairy industry, LIC was recognised for world-leading biosecurity protection in the face of Mycoplasma bovis, among many other achievements.

Taylor made Co-operative Leader of the Year

Builder, entrepreneur and co-founder of one-year-old building supplies start-up CBS Co-operative, Carl Taylor (left) has been recognised as the country’s Co-operative Leader of the Year. The Cantabrian is pictured receiving his award from Alastair Hercus, a member of this year’s independent judging panel.

LIC and Fonterra win for Agrigate

Emma Parsons, CEO of Agrigate, a 50/50 joint venture between Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and Fonterra, collected the 2019 Co-operation Amongst Co-operatives award for the co-ops’ data-sharing and exchange platform.

Outstanding Co-operative Contribution: Rob Hewett

Former Silver Fern Farms Co-op Ltd Chairman and future Farmlands Chairman, Rob Hewett (right), receives his award from Minister James Shaw, in recognition of Rob’s outstanding contribution to the Kiwi co-operative sector.

July 2019

The cooperative business model is alive and well here in NZ

Over the past few days since Westland Milk Products’ shareholders voted to sell to Yili, China’s largest dairy processor, some commentators have been speculating about the cooperative business model and whether it was right for our dairy industry and agri-producer sector. Some have even predicted the sale of Fonterra to overseas buyers. I would like to provide some balance to this discussion.

The Essential Role of Co-operatives in the Future of Work

The theme of this year’s International Day of Co-operatives (6 July 2019) is COOPS 4 DECENT WORK. How are co-operatives responding to the world of work challenges? The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is shouting out the message that co-ops are people-centred enterprises characterised by democratic control that prioritise human development and social justice within the workplace.

May 2019

Co-operatives can help alleviate NZ’s housing crisis

NZ’s housing crisis could be alleviated by the formation of housing co-operatives which have proven successful overseas but are strangely absent here in New Zealand, writes Cooperative Business NZ CEO Craig Presland.

Solar energy and the opportunity for co-operatives

Over one billion people worldwide have no access to electricity while less than 10% of energy usage globally is being generated from renewable sources. Both figures are highly alarming, writes Cooperative Business NZ CEO, Craig Presland. Despite the quest globally to develop and utilize renewable energy, we still have almost 90% generated by the burning of fossil fuels (33% by oil, 30% by coal and 24% by natural gas).