Is the Northern Rivers Australia's 'co-operative capital'?
NORTHERN Co-operative Meat Company chairman John Seccombe said the Northern Rivers is the "co-operative capital of Australia".
And being the birthplace to three of the country's largest agricultural co-operatives, you can certainly see why.
Mr Seccombe said he, along with CEO Simon Stahl, both believe it is this co-operative way of thinking which is the key to the future of the Northern Rivers.
"The co-operative ownership structure is crucial to our success and that of our members and community," Mr Seccombe said.
Mr Seccombe said the company has been showing that belief by working with the company's producer members to combat the regional decline in productivity in beef cattle.
"We've been working together to help build scale in our business," he said.
Mr Stahl said the NCMC's mission was growth, not only to "make the pie bigger" but ensure equitable sharing of the pie.
"There is a unique sense of sharing and caring and it is these underlying philosophies we believe are the key to a future Northern Rivers," he said.
Mr Seccombe said while considering the company's future, they had to look back.
He said NCMC is proud of its long history in servicing the Northern Rivers since 1933, and after looking at that, they then looked forward.
"We really need to take advantage of the world operating as a virtual single market, but this requires scale through regional collaboration," he said.
"With that in mind, the Northern Rivers must find it's point of difference and that is where NCMC are focused," Mr Stahl said.
NCMC strategies include working collaboratively with regional businesses to build scale, including support for a regional brand and export alliances.
Another point of difference for the Northern Rivers is the environment.
NCMC is committed to providing environmental leadership with carbon neutral targets and healthy rivers programmes which we know is a goal for many communities across the region.
Profitable farming and manufacturing with demonstrated best practise land and surrounds stewardship must be a regional goal.
In terms of employment, NCMC continues to invest in skills training, greater diversity and equal career opportunities across the broader community groups.
"This is not only the right thing to do but makes good business sense," Mr Stahl said.