About the Co-op

Co-operatives belong to, are operated by, and benefit the people who become members. Because the most important aspect of co-operatives is people, they also enhance the communities they operate in. They are formed by people with like-minded needs and aspirations which can be fulfilled by working together and taking responsibility to support the vision set by the members. The democratic nature of a co-op means that all members are equal decision-makers.

Co-ops worldwide adhere to 7 key principles:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community


The Beechworth Food Co-op is a registered non distributing co-operative without share capital, this means any profits can not be distributed to co-op members and that the Co-Op is equally owned by all Co-Op members. Any profits the Co-Op does make can only be used to improve the ability of the Co-Op to deliver on its aim to service its members. A copy of our endorsed rules of association can be viewed here.


Year One

  • Create membership prospectus and attract minimum of 40 members
  • Sell only dry goods while the Co-op is being established
  • Locate storage/retail space to call “home”
  • Develop systems allowing smooth food distribution
  • Create a forum where members can feel comfortable to come together and share ideas
  • Establish partnerships with other food co-ops to ensure ongoing improvements
  • Seek and build relationships with local producers who are keen to connect with the Co-op activities and share the Co-op’s vision and objectives
  • Dedicated and improved webpage!

Year Two

  • Grow membership to increase financial stability
  • Aggregate and distribute locally grown food as a food hub
  • Introduce produce swaps
  • Introduce member workshops
  • Create recipe library
  • Member celebrations


September 9, 2016

The Beechworth Food Co-op is a 100% community owned and operated business with over 800 individual members. From our members we have just 28 volunteers who contribute their time week in week out to order food, pick up stock, unpack, write newsletters, sit on the board, present workshops, apply for grants, create strategic plans, meet…

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President & Events - Jade Showers
Secretary - Bec Sacco
Treasurer - Dean Cleave-Smith
Marketing - Penelope McGufficke
General & Community - Fiona Wigg
General & Community - Libby Hosking