ACRES AND ACRES – Community co-op

Thanks to a vision to prioritise food security, sustainable practices, entrepreneurial opportunities and wellbeing initiatives for the community, the regional Victorian town of Corryong has shown that from adversity comes new beginnings.

When a group of food-growing enthusiasts gathered at the local Corryong Food Swap after the Upper Murray region was devastated in the January 2020 bushfires, they recognised the lack of locally grown fresh food. Acutely aware of the fragility of supply chains and the community’s reliance on them to date, Acres and Acres Co-op was set up in March 2020 to establish a local food source. Now providing food security, resilience and easier accessibility, it’s a result that turned the devastating effects of the bushfires into one of positive change.

The six founding members of Dee Mcdonald, Shelly Neale, Jacqui Beaumont, Digby Grotts, Pam Noonan and current director of Acres and Acres Josh Collings, decided to implement an action plan and sourced funding that has seen the co-op grow from a small market garden and monthly market stall run by volunteers, to recently purchasing the local greengrocer and employing staff. The shop not only provides easier access to fresh food but is also a retail outlet for local growers to sell their seasonal produce.