Bega Liz
Posts: 62
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 06:21
Location: Bega Valley, NSW
Contact: Website

Seed Saving Group Structures

There is no set requirement to become a seed saving group in Australia. Anyone can start one. We encourage people to join existing groups if they are close enough, but starting one in your area can be a very rewarding experience.

Structures
Some groups are casual collections of people interested in seed saving, some are incorporated bodies or cooperatives with elected office bearers. How formal or informal your group is, is up to you to decide.
There is no legal requirement to register community groups, such seed saving groups. Registering with your State or Territory government can provide some legal advantages but also comes with obligations.

Informal Structures
Some ways to start a seed saving group without taking on a formal structure include:
  • Adding seed sharing and swapping to an existing event, such as a food swap;
  • Persuading your local library to include a seed saving and sharing program;
  • Offer seeds locally on a one-to-one swap basis through local bulletin boards and social media;
  • Find a larger group to be part of and work under their umbrella. Appropriate groups to auspice a seed saving group include garden clubs, farming associations, permaculture groups and community gardens.
Unincorporated Association
If you start a new group but do not register it, then it would be considered as an unincorporated association. For small groups this might be the most practical way to operate as it is suitable for simple groups with minimal assets who do work that has minimal risk. It is simply a group of people who have agreed to come together to pursue a common purpose, such as run a seed saving group.
An unincorporated association cannot enter into contracts in its own name, or own land, or employ people, or sue or be sued. The members of the unincorporated association do these things on behalf of the association. The members may each have individual legal liability for the association’s debts and defaults, something which can lead to legal risk for those members. However if a small group does not have debts or carry out dangerous activities then the risk is very minimal. The group sets it's own rules and does not have any reporting or legal requirements.

Formal Structures
As overview of all the types of legal structures in Australia -https://www.nfplaw.org.au/free-resource ... -structure
Templeton
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Dec 2021, 08:12

Re: Seed Saving Group Structures

Hi Liz,
Thanks for the effort in putting all this together in one place. Most appreciated.
Gregg from Bendigo.

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