TAFCO Rural Supplies Background

The Tobacco & Associated Farmers Co-operative Limited (TAFCO) is a farmers co-operative which was formed in 1987 by tobacco growers to operate as an agricultural merchandising co-operative to service tobacco growers and other primary producers. Being a co-operative profits are retained in local communities and equitably distributed amongst members.

TAFCO has a broad horticultural base with a total membership in excess of 550 farmers many operating multi commodity farming enterprises. Share capital has been capped at $600,000 $1.00 shares which are held by the members of our co-operative. The continued investment into the co-operative by new and existing members has played a role in the opening of our store at 215 Great Alpine Road, Myrtleford in 1998.

Turnover:

To meet the main objective TAFCO entered into a Franchise Agreement with (then) Dalgety Farmers and began trading as Dalgety Farmers Myrtleford. The annual turnover at this time was approximately $600,000.

On July 1st 1995 TAFCO became independent from Dalgety Farmers and commenced operating as TAFCO Rural Supplies. Our current turnover is in excess of $4,000,000 having peaked at $5,000,000 in 2006 prior to the demise of the Australian tobacco industry.

Service to members

As a co-operative, TAFCO is conscious of the need to service members - Commodity groups serviced by TAFCO include winegrape, vegetable, hops, rubus, nut producers and pastoralists. 

TAFCO provides a delivery service throughout the region, saving farmers time and money by having a broad range of agricultural goods delivered to their farm.

In response to changing agricultural needs of the region TAFCO has demonstrated commitment to developing new horticultural enterprises in the region. In addition to supporting the tobacco growing industryTAFCO has been pro-active in assisting the development of new horticultural industries:-

  • (a) Provision of administrative support to the McColl Report - Agribusiness Strategic Plan for the Ovens & King areas
  • (b) The formation of Alpine Produce - a vegetable grower commodity group under the TAFCO umbrella.
  • (c) The provision of guest speakers at winegrape & other growers meetings.
  • (d) TAFCO has representation on the Victorian Farmers Federation - Horticultural Group
  • (e) TAFCO was a key member of the Post Tobacco Action Group (P-TAG formed in 2006 due to the loss of the Australian tobacco industry) and co-ordinated the succesful Alpine Valleys Outlook Conference held in Myrtleford Nov. 2007
  • (f) 2007-2008 SMARTchoice NLP community support project is managed by TAFCO
  • (g) Alpine Valleys Agrifood initiative - represented on Steering Committee (2009-2010)
  • (h) CSIRO Upper Ovens Sustainable Communities Project - represented on Project Team
  • (i) 2009-2011 SMARTchoice II - Caring for Our Country  Project
  • (j) 2010-2011 RIRDC - The Potential to Produce Pumpkin Seed for Processing in North East Victoria
  • (k) 2011-12 Chestnut Industry Biosecurity Project - Horticulture Aust
  • (l) 2013 Facilitation of Production Opportunity Information Evenings on SAFFRON and HAZELNUTS and BEEF Field Day on Livestock Handling and Bull Selection
  • (m) 2015-16 Feasibility Study for a Myrtleford Farmers Epicurean Market
  • (n) 2016 - Established the Myrtleford Farmers Market - a monthly accredited farmers market held in Myrtlefords Piazza
  • (o) 2016-2017 Farm Smart Project 'Adoption of Sustainable Management Practices in the Ovens, King and Kiewa Valleys"

Future

The role of TAFCO has developed into much more than an outlet for agricultural merchandise for farmers. Representation on various consultative committees is built into our unwritten business plan.

Currently either staff or Directors of TAFCO are represented on:

  • VFF - Horticultural Group Executive
  • AusChem (Victoria) - Victorian State Management Committee 
  • Alpine Valleys Vignerons
  • Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc
  • Rural City of Wangaratta - "Rural Land Use" advisory committee
  • Upper Oven Water Diverters Trust
  • Upper Ovens - Water Management Plan 2009-2011
  • Victorian Chemical Advisory Committee

The pro active approach by Directors of TAFCO has seen our business develop over the past 25 years and will see our business expand into the future at an optimum level. One example of the Directors pro active approach, is the introduction of observers to participate in Directors Meetings. Young farmers are invited to attend Directors Meetings and particpate in discussion regarding the business. Although observers have no voting rights, Directors beleive that this is 'training' and preparing young people in agribusiness to take on roles in the future whether it be TAFCO or other organisations.

Board of Directors:

  • Allan McGuffie (Chairman)
  • Joe LaSpina     (Deputy Chairman)   
  • Lachlan Campbell
  • Paul Dalbosco   
  • Angelo Grassi
  • Guido Cossignani
  • Dan Ivone
  • Peter Wilkinson (Observer Directo
  • Katrina Bendeman (Observer Director)

Staff:

  • Tony Vaccaro (Manager)
  • Kerry Murphy (Secretary)
  • Glenn Cousins (Merchandise Sales-deliveries)
  • Nick Ruaro (Merchadise Sales)
  • Gerard Sacco (Merchandise Sales - deliveries)
  • Neville Blewett (Casual Merchandise Sales)
  • James McKerral -(Casual Junior)

TAFCO is fortunate to employ a small staff team of people, who work extremely well together to meet our members needs. We aim to provide members with a friendly and efficient service at competitive prices.  TAFCO employs five full time, one part time and a casual junior who commenced in 2016.

 

STAFF PROFILES

tonyMANAGER: Tony Vaccaro

Tony has been Manager of TAFCO since August 1989 and oversees all daily operation of the business and reports to the Board of Directors.

Tony is responsible for implementing Board Policy, debtor and creditor control and reports on financial controls to the Board of Directors at each meeting.

Tony has ensured that TAFCO excels in meeting industry standards and our store is GOLD Accredited by industry standards. Staff, are fully trained under an industry code of practice and competencies reached through a series of training programs.

 

 

 

SECRETARY: Kerry Murphy

Since July 1988, Kerry has been the Co-operatives Secretary. Kerry reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for maintaining the share register, payment of dividends and rebates, distribution of the Annual Report to members and has a liaison role between members and management.

Kerry represents TAFCO on a number of committees including the Victorian Farmers Federation Horticulture Group and currently Chairs the VFF Ag & Vet Chemical Committee and is Secretary to the Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Kerry has been appointed to the Victorian Agricultural Chemical Advisory Committee a Ministerial Committee established under the Agricultural & Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 to advise the chief administrator on regulations and controls on the application of agricultural chemicals.

Kerry has managed a number of funded projects including the "SMARTchoice" Sustainable Land Use Project funded through the National Landcare programme and SMARTchoiceII Caring for Our Country Project which concluded in 2011.

Kerry co-ordinates members training and information sessions including Field Days. The AgVet Chemical User Courses and Refresher Courses, FreshCare Accreditation and other training has been co-ordinated where members have expressed an interest in such as Introduction to Welding for Women.

MERCHANDISE SALES & DRIVER: Glenn Cousins

Glenn commenced with TAFCO in October 1991 and has been the key player in ensuring that our members have a friendly and efficient delivery service to the farm. 

Prior to commencement with TAFCO, Glenn successfully completed his Apprenticeship in Farming and is fully accredited by Agsafe in the safe handling, storage and transport of chemicals.

Glenn's duties include all aspects of customer sales, product ordering and co-ordinating TAFCO's on farm delivery service. 

In 2016 Glenn is getting back out on the road and will be looking after the Whorouly - Milawa - King Valley on the Tuesday delivery run.

 

 

 

GERARD SACCO - Merchandise Sales & Driver
Gerard joined the TAFCO team on the 1st April 2012.  Coming with 25 years of experience with Murray Goulburn Trading in Myrtleford - he was a welcome addition to the team.  Gerards product knowledge and practical hands on approach makes him a great asset to TAFCO.   Gerard will be on the road a little more and has the both Wenesdays and Thursdays in the truck servicing TAFCO's Beechworth - Yackandandah - Mudgegonga Wednesday delivery run and Thursdays Porepunkah - Mt.Beauty - Happy Valley delivery service.
Gerard is AgSafe Accredited.

NICK RUARO - Merchandise Sales
Nick commenced in 2009 and completed a Traineeship with TAFCO obtaining his Certificate III in Agriculture in 2012.  Nick has demonstrated his willingness to learn and attended product knowledge workshops.  What Nick doesnt know he will endeavour to find out as he increases his product knowledge.
In 2016 Nick is in charge of AIR Liquide gas ordering and has completed the BioGuard Pool School ensuring our knowledge is up to date and relevant and providing TAFCO BioGuard Silver Retailer status.

NEVILLE BLEWETT  -  Casual Merchandise Sales & Driver

Neville joined the TAFCO team in February 2016, having spent the past 6 years as a casual with Murray Goulburn Trading in Myrtleford and Wangaratta.  Neville brings a wealth of knowledge having retired from dairy farming but still operates a beef cattle farm locally.

GARY BAXTER: 

Gary was employed wiith TAFCO part-time from 2007 until June 2012 as Project Officer for the "SMARTchoice" project and subsequent R& D Projects funded through RIRDC and Horticulture Australia Limited.  In 2016 Gary completed a Farmers Market Feasibility Study for TAFCO.

Today Gary is engaged to deliver the AgVet Chemical User and Refresher Courses.