How We Operate

As a co-operative we are an autonomous association of people who voluntarily cooperate for our mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.
Decisions about how we work together to meet our objectives are made in these ways:

•    We hold monthly meetings at the shop which are open to all members. These meetings are largely a forum to discuss operational matters, but we also consider policy and procedural matters.
•    Directors meet quarterly to review business strategy, budget control, compliance with regulatory requirements and other governance matters.
•    An AGM is held in November to elect new Directors for the upcoming year and to bring forth any proposed rule changes to the membership.
•    Special General Meetings can also be held at the request of the membership to consider matters.
•    Day-to-day operational decision-making is delegated to a number Coordinators who are responsible for functional areas  (eg Stock ordering, Shop operations, Communications, etc.) Coordinators may work with a team of members to under take activities within their area of operation.

Rules

Our rules are based on the model rules for co-operatives that are provided by Fair Trading NSW. A full copy of our rules can be viewed here (link to come). A few notable rules are:
•   Flame Tree Co-op is a non-distributing co-operative (the new term for non-profits). That means that we don’t distribute our surplus as dividends to members. We can donate to charities or else re-invest it in the co-op, including balancing out the surplus with reduced mark-ups.
•   The only active membership requirement is to pay your membership dues each year, on or before the anniversary of the date you joined.
•   If your membership is overdue, you will not receive a discount. After three months you will be deemed to have resigned from the co-op.

Legislation

The co-operative operates under regulations and legislation, both State and Federal. Relevant legislation can be found here:
•   Co-operatives National Law (NSW) (CNL)
•   Co-operatives National Regulations (CNR)
•   Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012
•   Co-operatives (New South Wales) Regulation 2014 (Local Regulations)

•   Model Rules for a non-distributing co-op without share capital
•   Fair Trading advice on drafting rules for co-operatives