The power of the co-operative spirit shines through in the face of adversity. One of the worst droughts currently impacting regional communities across the country and bushfires in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales are such events.

‘Potentially this may be the biggest disaster regional communities have experienced. Drought is a slow and relentless – it spares nothing. It’s totally invasive and that’s what makes it so destructive,’ says John Bylicki – a director at BCCM member Go Vita and operator of two Go Vita stores in southern Queensland.

‘What we see is parched earth, dwindling water storage, dying trees. What we know is that agriculture has been hit hard, farmers have been smashed.’

‘What is not so obvious is the damage to the local economies and the threat to regional towns. The worst scenario is an empty main street, no work, residents leaving and people struggling.’

In line with the co-operative principle of Concern for Community, a number of BCCM members have taken action to support drought and fire impacted communities.

Go Vita, working with its local members and the Salvation Army, organised the shipment of water and food for Rural Fire Service volunteers in southern Queensland.

In response to the extreme conditions facing its farmer-member across southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, Norco Co-operative has announced a ‘drought premium’ milk price increase.

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