Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:53
More than 800 million people around the world belong to cooperatives, and at least 100 million of them are employed by co-ops. And more often than you probably realize, co-ops play a vital part of your everyday life.
Consider the cup of coffee and cranberry muffin you recently enjoyed. That premium Sumatra Siborong-Borog coffee was likely purchased from a grower co-op in Indonesia. The flour in the muffin started as wheat from a farmer-owned, grain elevator co-op in the Midwest, and those cranberries might be from Ocean Spray, a producer-owned co-op.
Knowing the source of the foods you eat, the services you employ and the products you purchase are just a few of the benefits of joining a cooperative. As a member, co-ops invite you to take part in the way your favorite grocery store or financial institution is run, and share in any profits. This community approach to business is at the heart of the cooperative philosophy.
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 09:15
Suzie: I like that GreenStar is a co-op.
Mike: Yeah, I am all over the vegan cupcakes.
Suzie: That’s not what makes the Co-op a co-op!
Mike: It’s not? Well, I sure feel at home here. It’s my kind of food.
Suzie: Being a Co-op is about the members owning the business. That’s why everyone has a membership. It’s how we own part of the business.
Mike: I got a member number. It’s from my old college roommate.
Suzie: You’re supposed to have your own member number! How do you vote in Co-op elections?
Mike: Members are supposed to vote in Co-op elections?
Suzie: Voting is part of the “co-op” deal. You know, “locally owned, democratically controlled…”
Thursday, 04 September 2008 06:36
By Kristie Snyder,
When Pam Wooster’s daughter came home from school and asked her if she knew that the kids used disposable styrofoam lunch trays, she was appalled. She knew that after their 20-minute useful lifespan was over they would just end up in the trash, so she decided to take action. Two years later, the Ithaca City School District’s (ICSD) Food Service Program has switched to compostable trays and reduced its trash by 73 percent.
The new trays, made of sugar cane fiber, will be used in all of the schools in the district this year (except for the Lehman Alternative Community School, which washes its own reusable trays), and will be composted by Cayuga Compost in nearby Ulysses. The switch will keep about 775,000 styrofoam trays out of the landfill annually—that’s about 15 school buses full of garbage.
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By Laura Buttenbaum,
What is a co-op? This seemingly straightforward question can elicit a wide range of responses, from visceral and intrinsic to completely organizational and economic. According to the International Cooperative Association, "A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons unite...