The Co-op News – Importance of Co-ops to communities

In the early hours of Monday morning the 28th of February 2022, it was beginning to become apparent

that a natural disaster was unfolding in the very community the Casino Food Co-op calls home.

It was a flood disaster no one anticipated, and no agency or business could ever prepare for.

CEO of Australia’s largest farmer owned co-operative, Simon Stahl said he knew immediately that The Casino Food Co-op would play a critical roll in the unfolding disaster.

The Co-op delivered 90 pallets of food, using 20 helicopters and 11 trucks to 14 isolated communities.

Its estimated the Co-op helped feed around 4,000 people during the flood crisis.

He said co-ops are best placed to respond to this type of emergency, due to its large workforce, big assets and employees who are expertise in their field.

“We have logistics people that can actually organise things – turning out top car park into an airfield is

easy done for us. It didn’t take much as helicopters can land anywhere,” he said.

“Then we’ve got the cold stores and they are a big asset and we had power.”

But it’s not just the infrastructure that is critical in times of emergencies.

Mr Stahl said it’s each and every single employee who plays a vital role.