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Archive for July, 2012

Hello all,

Welcome to new people on the list: Aliya & Crow; and Karen.

Here are the notes from the Transition Coonabarabran meeting held at Joy and Johns Sunday 24th June 2012. [I wrote the notes as a ‘mind map’ which seemed to work well, so sorry I have not kept them in that format.] Radha, Laura, John and Peter T met outside the Jolly Cauli as arranged at 11 am. We then accepted an invitation to meet at Joy and John’s and on the way we had a look at their offered food storage space in the building opposite the RTA. Present at the meeting were Joy, John, Radha, Laura, Aliya, Crow, Karen and Peter T. We finished about 1 pm.

We decided to discuss how to make a start on the food co-op and any related community-supported agriculture. We talked about various aspects of this project and here are the ideas we considered most important:
Standards and Values: meeting our needs; simplicity; low demand on individuals; organic; low food miles; support local produce; fair trade.
Initial Products: drygoods will be the initial focus because of easy storage. We will try for: wheat grain; other grains; various flours; pastas; legumes; dry fruit; etc. Possible suppliers include: Demeter; The Good Food Warehouse; Wholefood Central; Santos; Bellata Gold.
Transport to Coonabarabran: A number of people (eg John, Crow) regularly travel away and can bring goods back to Coonabarabran to reduce transport costs.
Space: Joy and John offered the vermin-free food storage room in the building at 26 Timor Street. This offer is for no charge and with no long-term guarantee. Those present thought that having a space away from anyone’s house is a good idea and we accepted this kind offer.
Regular Activity: We decided that the co-op should have limited hours of access, being 10 am to noon every Saturday except this change to Sunday for the last Sunday of each month (market day).
Roster: There will be a roster of 2 people on duty each opening day. There is a need for rosters to cover ordering duties and money duties.
Containers: We are appealing for everyone to see what we can donate or loan long-term. Then we will see what else we might need to look for.
Possible Change Over Time: Just a few ideas were discusssed to show the potential: meeting on opening day; a meal together; a place to bring produce for bartering, trading and giving between individuals; a work exchange especially looking after gardens, chooks and rabbits; consumer-supported agriculture; regular bulk buying; opportunistic bulk buying; bulk buying fruit trees; bulk buying solar panels.
Providing a Venue for Producers: This might develop into organised community-supported agriculture with regular ordering, but even from an early stage, we can put out the word that every week at this place there is a likely group of buyers of quality local produce if any local producer wants to take a chance and turn up with their, eg: organic veges; fruit; poultry; rabbits; fish; meat. They just might get a sale.
Risks: growing too big; getting too complicated; straining relationships.
Money: We believe that many suppliers will require us to have a ABN. There is a need for a joining fee that is sufficient to give us some initial buying ability. There is a need for members to pay a small margin over the purchase cost of goods. We will probably need an account at the credit union.
Name: It is not possible to have the word ‘co-op’ unless we are registered under the Co-op Act. The suggestion so far is ‘The Chicken Coop’.
Target Opening Day: Saturday 1st September. John and Joy will get stuff out of the room before then and we will have a working bee or two.
Tasks Before Next Meeting: Radha will look at the ABN issue and especially see how an unincorporated community group can get an ABN. Joy will talk with Radha and Cas and others and start to put together a list of suppliers and their products. Peter T will circulate meeting notes. Joy and John will work out a date for us to be able to take possession of the food storage room.
Issues for Next Meeting: Decide on priority products and suppliers; plan the necessary administration, money matters and rosters; look at issues about the storage space; set date for working bee.
Next meeting is, because it is the second Saturday of the month, 11 am on Saturday 14th July 2012.
Meet at the Jolly Cauli and I suggest we stay there (So Amanda doesn’t get lost). I have heard there may be a request to put the time back to noon but until that is discussed and agreed, it is set for 11 am.
Yours in excitement and conviviality,
Peter T

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