Our History

Our History

Yolla Co-Op grew from the idea of one man, bringing the farmers of Tasmania together.

Few people would have been game to place a wager that a group of farmers in the late 1970s would be able to start a buyers group and that more than 40 years later, this would continue to be a thriving business, with more than 1,650 Members.

Even the founding members would never have dreamed that their efforts to obtain bulk buying power would grow 900% in membership in the first 10 years of operation, or even still exist by 2020.

Ramshaw Sows the Seed

Originally from the UK, Derek Ramshaw and his wife immigrated to Australia in 1954, where he became and Agricultural teacher with the South Australian Education Department. In 1963 they moved to Tasmania, to become Agricultural Officer with the Department of Agriculture. He became the “driving force” behind several dairy, beef and sheep discussion groups in the district.

Derek moved to Burnie in 1974 to take up a position as District Agricultural Officer. Under the guidance of Derek, local farmers from the Yolla-Elliot district formed a discussion group. For several years, the group consisting of about 30-40 people would meet monthly at various local farms around the district to discuss the different farming methods, with information being provided to them by Derek and other guest speakers. Derek also organised for the discussion group to attend various Field days both around Tasmania and interstate. Expert advice was provided to the group on everything from shearing sheep and making silage to bucket rearing calves and pasture management.

The idea for a buying group stemmed from a rainy field day at Bill French’s dairy at Mount Hicks Road in Wynyard. As the group waited for the rain to clear, they expressed their concerns about the high prices of farming inputs. Derek suggested that they form a buyers group. (use this highlighted section as a stand out quote as per other articles) At the same time local farmer, businessman and discussion group member, Jack Brown, had just returned from the UK where he had witnessed the power of collective buying which he had seen in operation in the UK.

From there, Yolla Producers Society was established in May 1977, a buyers group for primary producers, with annual subscriptions being set at $12 per member.

Yolla Ear Tags

Striving to be the ‘Supplier of Choice’

Since 1977, Yolla Co-Op has continued to strive to be the rural supplier of choice for our customers. We do this by providing quality goods and services at very competitive pricing, when and where they are needed, with outstanding customer service.

After realising that many of our members wanted to be able to see what they were getting before they bought their tags, we started developing Yolla Ear Tags. Now, we are able to provide our members the ability to visualise their tags before they order them, helping them buy with confidence and avoid costly mistakes. By continuing to strive to be a supplier of choice for farmers, we have grown and we are now able to bring our tag visualisation technology, and the competitive pricing we are known for, to benefit farmers Australia-wide.

Still Owned by Farmers, for Farmers

Since Yolla Co-Op was founded, we’ve been owned and managed by Tasmanian farmers; in other words, we work for you!

We provide our customers with a full range of rural supplies at extremely competitive prices. We buy goods in bulk and pass on the savings to our members.

In addition, by using the purchasing power of our members, we can provide our members with access to a wide range of rural, business and personal goods and services at reduced prices through our Yolla Partners program.