How the mutual began
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.) The Regen Farmers Mutual was created out of this work as a democratically governed, farmer-owned Company that is Limited by Guarantee (otherwise known as a mutual). This approach aligns the interests of farmers in order for them to cost-effectively benefit from environmental markets.
Why a farmer mutual
A farmer-owned mutual enables farmers to aggregate their market power to better engage in Environmental Goods & Services (EG&S) markets. By disintermediating the current broker market, farmers can retain 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. Most importantly, it creates a mechanism to attract private sector capital to invest in credible and appropriately structured transactions.
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 EG&S outcomes. It is partnering with existing farmer and member organisations (such as the Landcare Network) 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.
“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)