Identifying Cooperative Allies

How to build a broader movement for social change. How to evaluate the cooperative alignment and potential of allies such as nonprofits, land trusts, and advocacy groups? "Grassroots Economic Organizing" or Geo offers thoughtful reports and analysis of the spectrum of cooperatives and cooperative allies, primarily in eastern U.S. Read more »

Owning is the New Sharing

The so-called sharing economy, a model of business innovation based on open-source software and broad participation of a cooperative nature, is thoughtfully examined by Nathan Schneiderman at the Shaeable blog: http://www.shareable.net/blog/owning-is-the-new-sharing. Read more »

So Many Co-ops, So Little Time

Whenever I am having a conversation with friends discussing the problems our society is facing, invariably one of them will say something like, “Adam, you think there is co-op solution for everything!” I usually smile and agree wholeheartedly. Here is why.

There are over 29,000 cooperative businesses in the USA, and food co-ops represent about 1 percent of that total. What are the other 99 percent doing? Read more »

Countering Myths About World Hunger

World hunger is real and widespread -- but it is not for lack of food, rather lack of food justice.  Cooperators can help address these issues by being well-informed.  Here are two links to excellent recent comments on this topic:  First, a summary of "Ten Myths About Hunger," published in The Guardianhttp://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/16/world-food-day-10-myths-hunger?CMP=share_btn_fb. Read more »

Building Democracy and Successful Worker Co-ops

Excellent work and analysis on cooperative development continues to be found at community-wealth.org, a project of the Democracy Collaborative.  For people interested in cooperative development generally and worker co-ops in particular, a recent interview provides many insights and lessons learned.  It's a fascinating discussion that has relevance well beyond the business in the title: http://community-wealth.org/content/how-worker-cooperative-fa Read more »

Elm City Market Demutualizes

In an unfortunate action that is the first of its kind, at least for the current generation of food co-ops, Elm City Market in New Haven, Connecticut, has demutualized and is no longer a co-op.  The challenges of launching and sustaining food co-ops in urban food deserts with low- to moderate-income demographics remain difficult ones.  The National Cooperative Grocers, who had provided substantial support to a turnaround effort at Elm City Market and proposed to retain community ownership, announced that the co-op had been sold to local investors and lenders:

October 15 Deadline for Bowers Fund Grants

The next round of co-op training and education grants from the Howard Bowers Fund has an October 15 deadline. Find details and an application at www.cdf.coop/bowersfund/.  

The Bowers Fund is housed at the Cooperative Development Foundation and overseen by a volunteer group of food co-op leaders.  The Bowers Fund strengthens the food co-op community by awarding grants to co-op staff, managers, and board members for training and education. Read more »

The Assault on Organics

An excellent report, "The Assault on Organics," appears in the current issue of Sound Consumerfrom PCC Natural Markets, the Seattle-based consumer co-op: http://pccnaturalmarkets.com/r/2800. Read more »

Co-ops' Global Identity

The international cooperative domain name, .coop, has now been joined to a cooperative marque or brand with the same letters.  Our national cross-sector cooperative trade organization, NCBA CLUSA, is promoting this with “Seven reasons to adopt the global cooperative identity”:

•It’s ethical – shows that you align with cooperative values.

•Only co-ops and those serving co-ops can use the online co-op identity and the co-op marque.

•Stand out on the web – the .coop domain name is unique. Read more »

Study Reaffirmed: Roundup-Ready GMO corn causes serious health damage

A 2012 study that identified serious health effects from feeding GMO (genetically modified organisms) corn and the Monsanto corporation’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup has been strongly reaffirmed.  The original paper, written by Prof. Read more »

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