Batlow Apples has voted to secure its financial future with members unanimously voting in favour of a proposal to demutualise the Batlow Apples Co-operative. The result of the vote – 30 votes in favour to zero against – means that the Ausfarm Fresh Group will inject $10 million in capital into the business. In exchange the Co-operative will be converted into a company with the relevant member of the Ausfarm Fresh Group being issued 63.3% of the converted entity’s total share capital. Existing members will receive one fully paid share in the Company for each fully paid Co-operative unit held and one partly paid share for each partly paid Co-operative unit. Batlow Apples’ Chairman, John Robson, heralded the decision by members to accept the proposal and said it will ensure that Batlow Apples are able to confront the financial, demographic and market challenges faced by the apple industry. “This is an historic moment in the history of Batlow Apples. The acceptance of this proposal will mean that one of Australia’s most iconic food brands will have a financially viable future.” Mr Robson said. “The Board strongly supported this proposal and I want to thank all members who participated in this process and for their unequivocal support. “The fact that members have voted unanimously in favour of this proposal demonstrates a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of Batlow Apples. Mr Robson stressed that Batlow’s growers will continue to provide fruit to the Company, as they have done for many years. “Batlow Apples will continue to rely heavily on its growers for its ongoing success, as it has always done. For the Company to succeed and grow, access to a strong and predictable fruit supply is needed. “Having a strategic partner for the Company, such as the Ausfarm Fresh Group, will also facilitate access to additional resources, whether in the form of capital or strategic initiatives, to enhance the performance and development of the Company in a sustainable manner. “Growers will continue to feature in the ownership structure of the Company, and will be represented on the Board as they have been for the past 96 years.” The conversion from a Co-operative into a company will officially occur when the registration with ASIC takes place and Shares in the Company are issued to Ausfarm Fresh Group for its investment.