Publication Details

Mike Donaldson and Nick Southall, Illawarra Co-operatives: The First One Hundred Years, Flame Tree Community Food Co-op, Thirroul, 2014 , 40p.


The hope and promise of co-operative marketing were to return all profits fairly to the producers and to control the price of dairy products through collective market power. Soon the South Coast and West Camden Co-op opened its own selling floors in Sussex Street, Sydney. Illawarra and Shoalhaven farmers immediately withdrew their consignments from ‘the system’ and sent their produce instead to the fledgling co-operative. On Mondays and Thursdays steamers arrived from Wollongong, Kiama and Shoalhaven. Carrier after carrier had to be engaged to convey the butter, bacon and cheese sent from the South Coast to the Co-op’s floor while many agents had nothing else to do but stand outside their doors and watch their business disappear, their carts returned empty from the wharf. The Co-op finished business on the evening of its opening day with all its consignments sold at a very good price.