Dungog Wholefood Co-op

Acknowledgement to Country

The story of food in Dungog begins with the Gringai people of the Worimi nation. We have so much to learn about their complex and ongoing relationship with this place. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and celebrate their enduring connections to Country, knowledge and stories. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

The Need

Just two businesses, Coles and Woolworths, have an unhealthy 70% share of the Australian grocery retail market. Ultimately, only a few investors win out of this. The consumer, the farmer and the environment all lose out in the end. Dungog has a long and proud history of food production. Establishing a local co-op means we can cut out the ‘middle man’ and work directly with our local producers to keep this tradition going strong. Our product range will be affordable without shortchanging producers or sacrificing quality. We carefully select products that leaves our planet a better place. We are a small town with a big idea. We want to create a place where we can grow together and create a stronger and more connected community through fair food.

The Dungog Wholefood Co-operative is made up of locals who all want better access to fair food. It became an official entity in July 2021 with 9 founding members and 4 directors. We have a talented and passionate team of coordinators who ensure the Co-op is well developed and managed.

We also have access to a growing network of people who are ready to jump in on specific elements when required. We’ve been inspired by the community’s work towards more local, sustainable, accessible food. Producers like Four Acre Farm, Munni Farm and Fosterton Biodynamic Bakery and initiatives like The Dungog Local Growers Market, Single-Use Plastic Free Dungog and the ‘Return & Earn’ Station have been fantastic. We are excited to build on this success and take another step on the journey.

Why a co-operative?

A co-operative is a legally incorporated business owned by its members, who use its services or purchase their products. A co-operative can and do provide virtually every product or service, and can be either for-profit or non-profit enterprises.  There are over 3 million co-operatives globally. At least 12% of the world’s population are members of at least one. They provide jobs or work opportunities to 10% of the employed population, and the three hundred largest cooperatives generate 2,146 trillion USD in turnover while providing the services and infrastructure society needs to thrive (World Cooperative Monitor). Co-operatives are community-focused businesses that balance people, planet and profit. They are democratic and value-based by nature, and are often formed to fill a void within a community, to seize local opportunities and to meet the needs of their member-owners.

Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents, they have an equal say in what the business does and share in the profits. In the case of the Dungog Wholefood Co-operative, profits are put back into the business operations and supporting local growers and producers. As a result, our approach will keep dollars circulating within the Dungog shire economy, helping to build a more resilient and vibrant community.

More Information?

Please visit the Dungog Wholefood Co-op website DungogWholefoodCoop.org.au