5 December 1997

Co-ops must change to meet industry needs

LEADERS of Europes farm co-operatives have agreed that radical changes are needed if their businesses are to meet the needs of big supermarket chains and multi-national food traders, and if they are to play an active and positive role in World Trade Organisation and CAP negotiations.

At the second Plunkett Foundation European Agricultural Co-operatives Symposium, in Portugal, Ian Langdon, chairman of ACF, an Australian dairy co-op, told delegates that co-ops had to meet certain criteria to succeed.

Multi-nationals not enemy

"The multi-national groups we do business with are not the enemy, but it is not possible to do business with them unless you have the right size and countervailing power, and are able to deliver the right product at the right price.

He said ACF expected 15% growth a year, split equally between growth of existing business and acquisitions. &#42

LEADERS of Europes farm co-operatives have agreed that radical changes are needed if their businesses are to meet the needs of big supermarket chains and multi-national food traders, and if they are to play an active and positive role in World Trade Organisation and CAP negotiations.

At the second Plunkett Foundation European Agricultural Co-operatives Symposium, in Portugal, Ian Langdon, chairman of ACF, an Australian dairy co-op, told delegates that co-ops had to meet certain criteria to succeed.

Multi-nationals not enemy

"The multi-national groups we do business with are not the enemy, but it is not possible to do business with them unless you have the right size and countervailing power, and are able to deliver the right product at the right price.

He said ACF expected 15% growth a year, split equally between growth of existing business and acquisitions. &#42