This alignment creates unique benefits to our members:
- Services – the mutual is solely focussed on creating value for members. Its services help farmers capture the value of environmental outcomes whether through productivity gains, food & fibre, or environmental markets.
- Profits – if the mutual generates surplus earnings, these can be returned to members as rebates. For this reason, we keep a record of all fees paid by members over time in their Member Rebate Balance.
- Governance – members have the opportunity to participate in decision-making for the mutual, via the Member Council and the Board. Members can be confident that they are getting the services that they need.
Why a farmer mutual
A farmer-owned mutual enables farmers to aggregate their market power – to create a trusted advisor that enables them to better engage in environmental markets. By avoiding the middle men, farmers can retain much more value from transactions. Shared ownership of the infrastructure also enables greater efficiencies in training, execution and compliance, and broadens the types of transactions and the value captured from data and provenance. And importantly, it creates a mechanism to attract private capital to invest in credible and well structured transactions that work for farmers and the environment.
How the mutual began
The Regen Farmers Mutual was formed in July 2020. We were born of 79 farmers, conservationists and landcarers who worked together to design from the ground up a farmer-owned broker that could help farmers access environmental markets. (You can find the recordings of these co-design sessions below.) Creating a farmer-owned, democratically governed advisor aligns the interests of farmers in order for them to cost-effectively benefit from environmental markets.
How it delivers its services
As a farmer-owned business, the mutual is focussed on creating the digital infrastructure, transaction processes and governance structures that enable farmers to optimise environmental outcomes. It is partnering with existing farmer and member organisations to deliver distributed services such as farmer support, training and network development. The margin structure of transactions will provide for these services, and underpin a sustainable revenue stream for its partner farmer networks. In this way, the mutual can maximise returns to its farmer members, while leveraging the networks that they belong to.
How we’re structured
Regen Farmers Mutual Ltd is a Company Limited by Guarantee – this means it has no ordinary shares and it is democratically controlled by its members. Farmers become a member by using services of the mutual or its affiliates.
Regen Digital Pty Ltd is a majority owned subsidiary of the mutual and was created to provide the digital services that members use to collect, analyse and share their farm data. By subscribing to Regen Digital, farmers become a member of Regen Farmers Mutual. In this way, our farmer members control the advisor and the digital platform that they use to engage in environmental markets.
“Mutuals and co-operatives enable producers to collaborate to share risk and resources, secure lower cost inputs and market their production more effectively…”National Farmers Federation & Pottinger – Future Proofing Farming Report (2021)