Purchasing and supply

Purchasing and supply co-operatives…

  • Facilitate independent business owners to benefit from economies of scale
  • Support and encourage entrepreneurship
  • Lower input costs: improve business productivity and efficiency
  • Lower production costs: pass on better value to consumers
  • Provide access to finance for small business
  • Profit sharing spreads the benefits of business: wealth is distributed more widely

Facilitate independent business owners to benefit from economies of scale

Purchasing and supply service co-operatives are able to benefit from economies of scale in procurement and throughout their supply chain which enables them to operate in sophisticated, crowded markets whilst simultaneously maintaining their focus on their locality.

Support and encourage entrepreneurship

The existence of co-operative business consortia enable independent business owners to run and operate businesses in competitive marketplaces where they would otherwise be squeezed out by pressure from large listed firms. They help to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship in a marketplace where such zeal could otherwise be pushed out. 

Lower input costs: improve business productivity and efficiency

Shared procurement and operating costs help to improve the productivity and efficiency of businesses which benefit regional Australians without creating a monolithic enterprise which can leave people overcharged and underserved. 

Lower production costs: pass on better value to consumers

Economies of scale enable co-operative enterprise consortia to help lower the costs of production which helps drive value for the consumer.

Consortia provide access to finance for small business 

The co-operative enterprise consortia model is extremely successful at producing access to finance for smaller, regional businesses who would otherwise struggle to compete in developed markets. 

Profit sharing spreads the benefits of business: wealth is distributed more widely

Co-operative business consortia facilitate profit sharing which means that wealth is more widely spread amongst Australians. In a co-operative, ownership and the ensuing benefits are spread more widely than is typically the case for listed businesses.

Purchasing and supply examples

Australian Travel Agents Co-operative (ATAC)

Australian Travel Agents Cooperative Limited

Travel buying group built on transparency, superior buying power and equal profit sharing.
Established Year: 1987
Bus Association Victoria logo

Bus Association Victoria

Representing the interests of members in their relationship with Government and its Agencies.
Established Year: 1944
Type: Association
Capricorn Society logo

Capricorn Society

Began in 1970 when 12 West Australian service station owners combined purchasing power to level the playing field with multinational oil companies. Capricorn has over 22,000 Members and 2,500 Preferred Suppliers across Australia and NZ. Its business support includes equipment finance, travel services and business protection.
Established Year: 1974
Carpet One

Carpet One

Carpet One Floor & Home is the world's largest co-operative retail floor covering groups, with over 2,000 stores in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
Established Year: 1994
Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Limited

Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Limited

A co-operative of independent supermarkets and liquor stores which are branded or unbranded and operating in Australia.
Established Year: 2019
Go Vita logo

Go Vita

Go Vita is Australia’s largest health food retail group, committed to making a difference in its local communities with ethical, quality products and honest health advice.
Established Year: 1987
HunterNet logo


Network of manufacturing, engineering and specialist services companies.
Established Year: 1992
Independent Liquor Group Logo

Independent Liquor Group (ILG)

Australia’s largest liquor co‑op. Member owned business working to obtain the best service and benefits for its members. ILG is committed to providing choice and flexibility to service its member’s diverse business models through its banner groups: Fleet Street, Bottler, Super Cellars, The Liquor Co-op, Clubmart and Pubmart.
Established Year: 1975
Master Butchers Co-operative Logo

Master Butchers Co-operative (MBL)

MBL was formed in 1905 by South Australian butchers to service the meat industry. Members consist of retail and wholesale butchers, supermarkets, smallgoods manufacturers, abattoir operators, boning room operators, and seafood and poultry manufacturers and retailers mainly in South Australia, Northern Territory & Western Victoria.
Established Year: 1905
RapidClean logo


RapidClean is owned by cleaning supply experts operating their own stores. It provides customers with the support of a national organisation while providing a local service, offering a single source, cost-effective one-stop-shop solution. Their stores stock all the major brands of industrial, commercial and environmentally friendly products.
Established Year: 1988
Resource Work Cooperative Logo

Resource Work Cooperative

Not-for-profit, self-funding worker’s cooperative based in Hobart. It is the largest Workers Cooperative in Australia, employing 32. It can supply materials for renovations and art project, pick up people's reusable goods for free or even sustainably deconstruct entire buildings.
Established Year: 1993
Travellers Choice Logo

Travellers Choice

Travellers Choice represents independent travel agents and was named Australia’s Best Travel Agency Group in 2015 and 2019.
Established Year: 1977