12.6 C
Byron Shire
July 13, 2024

Santos Organics takes on not-for-profit role

Latest News

Losing town water access

I grew up and live in Mullumbimby, and I know locals have a strong opinion about the Byron Shire...

Other News

Visual pollution

I live rurally, not far from Mullumbimby, and I remember the time before a rural garbage service existed. It required...

Byron Writers Festival 2024: Bruce Pascoe Q&A

Byron Writers Festival guests Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood’s book Black Duck: A Year at Yumburra is a personal and beautiful reflection on life, Country and the consequences of Dark Emu through six seasons on their farm. Here Bruce Pascoe answers some questions about the experience.

Man assaulted – Tweed Heads South

Police have commenced an investigation following an assault at a Tweed Heads shopping centre yesterday afternoon.

Tweed Council wants feedback on Crabbes Creek Community Hall upgrade

The Crabbes Creek Community Hall is heading towards. major upgrade and Tweed Shire Council is seeking community feedback on a draft concept plan for the work to make it a safer and more inclusive space for gatherings, events and activities.

Tweed farmers encouraged to apply for $4,000 funding

Tweed Shire Council is once again offering the Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program, designed to encourage best practice and inspire environmental creativity in agricultural activities across our community.

Karkalla at Home: 110 recipes using native foods

Karkalla at Home is a vibrant cookbook that brings Australia’s wonderful bounty of unique native foods into the home...

Manager of Santos Organics and Greens councillor Michael Lyon. Photo Jeff Dawson
Manager of Santos Organics and Greens councillor Michael Lyon. Photo Jeff Dawson

Aslan Shand

From its beginnings operating out of a panel van in the early 70s through to its transformation into a community-owned enterprise in 1983, Santos has strived to meet the needs of the local community through the supply of organic, bio-dynamic and locally sourced produce.

It hit a rocky patch about five years ago after the organisation became insolvent, but it’s managed to work its way through this difficult period, implementing a range of changes that have brought the business back into profitability.

Following this successful turnaround, they have now decided to take things one step further and make Santos Organics a not-for-profit business.

‘We haven’t paid out dividends for around seven or eight years,’ said general manager and newly elected Greens councillor Michael Lyon. ‘Three years ago, we became a defacto not-for-profit business when we decided to reinvest in the business and community projects rather than pay out dividends.’

He says becoming a not-for-profit company has been an ongoing process that has engaged shareholders, staff, the board and management, and became the confirmed direction of the company in June at the AGM.

As part of this process, the company had to develop a charitable purpose to which they are required to commit a significant percentage of their profits.

‘Enhancing our natural environment is our charitable purpose,’ said Cr Lyon. ‘We want to ensure that we give more than we take from our environment. We have done a lot of work to tidy up our governance structures.’

Pulling themselves out of bankruptcy involved putting in place a strong board, who are able to provide regular and clear direction to the management team of Santos Organics.

$150,000 for projects

Cr Lyon sees this as a positive aspect of the business as he now fulfils the dual role of Santos Organics general manager and Byron Shire councillor.

‘There are very clear policies regarding any possible conflicts of interest that may emerge.’

Over the next financial year Cr Lyon anticipates that they will have around $100,000 to $150,000 to distribute and are aiming to have the structure for distribution finalised for the launch of their not-for-profit status in February 2017.

Acknowledging the claim that some people feel Santos is an expensive place to shop, Cr Lyon pointed out that by removing the profit motive people know the business isn’t just about profit for profit’s sake; rather, ‘by shopping here, people can know they are really giving back to community and the environment.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lavertys Gap history

The Lavertys Gap hydro power station was installed in 1919. In 1939, during the Great Depression, people had no money, and Council decided to...

Electricity lines clipped and lines come down in Lismore

Police have confirmed that a truck clipped powerlines today on Dawson Street, Lismore. 

NSW Drug Summit announced – finally

The NSW Labor government has finally delivered on their election promise to hold a NSW Drug Summit that will take place this year. 

Getting the word out on wildlife

The Young and Wild project by young women and run by Byron Youth Service (BYS) has produced wildlife stickers and murals, all to raise awareness of the plight of our native animals.