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The ABC Honey Group has grown out of an original query in early 2016 from a beekeeper to a retired business friend about his wish to export honey. As he had only a few hives it seemed obvious that he should secure supply from like-minded beekeepers. This led to the plan to establish a cooperative of growers who would mutually give security of supply and share in the value-adding process of packing, marketing, local sales, and export.
It was decided at the outset that the proposal would require a number of diverse skills and some significant funding. The original 2 set about to recruit a ‘Founders group’ who would each contribute their particular expertise for no fees and indeed would contribute capital for initial setup. The founders in return would be given a small stake in the final enterprise in return for their input and would take shares for their capital contributions.
The original founders included two beekeepers, a retired Management Consultant, a Public Accountant, an Exporter, a Transport Manager from the food industry, an IT Professional and a Retail Marketer.
The ABC Honey model which evolved protected the producer in an equal partnership of capital and producer of honey. The structure has now matured as Australian Beekeepers Cooperative Ltd, ABC Honey Pty Ltd (marketing arm) and 50% of Honeypack Pty Ltd (processing factory). We are indebted to the Farming Together initiative for their support in completing this structure.
In essence, the structure is designed to create a long-term partnership between investors and primary producers in a balanced and fully vertically integrated group delivering profits equally between the creators of wealth and the owners of capital.
Australian Beekeepers Cooperative LtdWe identified a group of quality beekeepers who wished to join. These range from medium and large enterprises to the smaller units who wish to grow and who want a fair price for their honey over time. Our basic criteria for membership is that they understand that this is a long-term venture designed to ensure that control of the group will always be shared. Membership will be open to people or businesses who serve the cooperative but the rules will be strictly observed in their admission