Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise
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Research Handbook on Sustainable Co-operative Enterprise

Case Studies of Organisational Resilience in the Co-operative Business Model

Edited by Tim Mazzarol, Sophie Reboud, Elena Mamouni Limnios and Delwyn Clark

Co-operatives are found in all industry sectors and almost all countries around the world. However, despite their significant economic and social contributions, the academic literature has largely ignored these important businesses. This book is a detailed examination of the co-operative enterprise business model and the factors that help to enhance its sustainability and resilience, as well as those forces that lead to its destruction.
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Chapter 19: Co-op X-club or true value of shares?

Lawson Savery


The following study is based on a real co-operative which will be referred to in this chapter only as "Co-op X" for reasons of confidentiality. Co-op X is a meat processing business based in Australia that is engaged in the slaughter, processing and distribution of cattle, sheep and pork, as well as the production of animal hides and related byproducts. The foundation of Co-op X can be traced back to the mid-1930s. Its original purpose was that of a Rural Society rather than a co-operative, but this changed in the early 1940s when the decision was made for the organisation to become a service provider slaughtering livestock only for operators rather than a mixed policy of abattoiring and trading. Since then Co-op X has serviced the operators who supply the meat works with animals for slaughter, which means that the operators always own the cattle and consequently the meat produced, and the operators have paid the co-operative for killing and butchering the livestock. This change led to the co-operative making a profit and as said in a report which allowed acceptance ". . . . that some light (now existed) at the end of the tunnel, instead of adverse results that had been the norm with general trading" (Co-op X 1983, p. 29).

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