Week of Sept. 16 – Sept. 22, 2007, Vol. 2, No. 48

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” — Anita Roddick www.anitaroddick.com/ Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


This Week in Co-op Circles

·     Members at Consumers Community Co-operative locations in Moncton have had an opportunity during the past few months to attend kitchen meetings on a variety of topics. Local council member Maureen MacLean and her fellow council members and staff have hosted the monthly meetings on such diverse topics as osteoporosis, healthy snacks and lunches, taking digital photos, and greening your home. “The short, informational meetings are designed to provide today’s consumer with tips and tidbits designed to make life easier,” says MacLean. Participation has ranged from 10 to 20 depending on the topic. Members at Consumers Community Co-operative locations in Moncton have had an opportunity during the past few months to attend kitchen meetings on a variety of topics. Local council member Maureen MacLean and her fellow council members and staff have hosted the monthly meetings on such diverse topics as osteoporosis, healthy snacks and lunches, taking digital photos, and greening your home. “The short, informational meetings are designed to provide today’s consumer with tips and tidbits designed to make life easier,” says MacLean. Participation has ranged from 10 to 20 depending on the topic.  Members and visitors are welcome. Fall topics include vitamins and supplements, winterizing your home, and Christmas centerpieces made easy.  Anyone who is interested in trying something similar at their co-op is invited to correspond with MacLean at  kitchenmeeting@aim.com  

·     The 2007 AGM and Conference of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation will be held in Ancaster, ON from Nov. 22-24. This year’s theme is Worker Co-ops & Community Sustainability. What role can the worker co-op movement play in helping to create sustainable communities, in conjunction with allied movements such as labour and the fair trade movement? The keynote speaker will be Lynn Williams, retired president of the United Steelworkers of America.  He was the first Canadian to ever preside over the international USWA and is a legendary pioneer of union-led buyouts of enterprises. Under his leadership, the Steelworkers moved to the forefront among unions in using employee ownership to retain jobs, and in negotiating innovative participatory bargaining agreements. Another major highlight this year is that the recipient of the Worker Co-op Merit Award will be CWCF’s former President (from 1994 through June 2007), Mark Goldblatt.  For more information and detailed agenda go to www.canadianworker.coop

·     Members at all Consumers Community Co-operative locations are holding their fall member association meetings in late September. Topics for discussion included an update on operations and local council activities, as well as amalgamation with Co-op Atlantic. Members elected delegates to attend a special member meeting in Moncton on Saturday, Nov. 3. The two co-operatives will be amalgamated in January. Former CCC locations will have advisory councils who will be part of the governance structure that elects delegates to annual meetings, submit resolutions and take part in the democratic structure of the co-operative.

·     Family Place, a family resource centre, in Summerside and the Co-op Development Foundation of Canada, will be hosting a fundraiser on October 12th at 6:30 pm at the French School, École-sur-Mer, on 5 avenue Maris Stella in Summerside. Evening fun begins at 6:30 pm and promises to be a family affair. A variety of talented entertainers including vocalist Danalee Lynch and the singing trio, North Meets South, composed of Dr. Jim Dickson, Rachel Ellsworth and Catherine Dickson, will entertain guests. Local models will don trendy fashions from Frenchy’s. A silent auction with more than 40 items will tempt even the most discerning collector. Guests will have a chance at winning door prizes and delicious finger foods and refreshments will be provided. The Summerside family resource centre, Family Place, has been providing support and services to young families living in Prince County since 1994. Executive director, Laura (Quinn) Graham, indicates the opportunity to partner with the Co-op Development Foundation in a fundraising initiative is an exciting venture. “Both organizations support community members and make a difference in the everyday lives of families, one at home in Prince Edward Island and the other in the international community.” Maureen MacLean, the Canadian Co-operative Association’s member engagement co-ordinator in the Atlantic Region, says by partnering with a community organization in fundraising efforts, she helps people make the connection between local and global communities. Tickets are only $10.00 dollars each and are available at the following outlets:  Consolidated Credit Union in Summerside, Frenchy’s, 485 Granville Street,
Summerside and Family Place, 75 Central St, Summerside, on Monday to Friday 10:00 – 4:00. More information about this fundraiser can be obtained from Family Place, 902 436- 1348, e-mail laurafamilyplace@eastlink.ca and Maureen MacLean, (506) 383-8255, marcon@nbnet.nb.ca         

·     The documentary, Black Gold, <blackgoldmovie.com> was shown free of charge recently at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. The event was hosted by Just Us! Coffee Roasters www.justuscoffee.com , the Just Us! Development and Education Society (JUDES) and the Coady International Institute. Jeff Moore, a founder of Just Us! and Tadesse Meskela, general manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Collective Union in Ethiopia and star of the film attended the showing. Meleska said the collectives are changing the rules about how coffee is produced in his country. Through the co-ops, Meskela says new schools, health centres and two clean water supply stations have been built, and $2 million have been returned back to the farmers in the form of dividends. The film, Black Gold, details the lives of Ethiopian coffee bean producers, and delivers a number of disturbing statistics about how little coffee farmers are paid for the crops and the extreme poverty in which they live.


Trends – There is no hiding the fact that the green movement is making some strides in food production and distribution. But there is a very, very long way to go before the majority of food production and distribution is as efficient as possible – i.e. leaves the smallest carbon footprint and still appeals to a critical mass of food buyers. Across the pond – if you are reading this from North America – the UK Co-op Group is embarking on yet another widespread member engagement exercise that will surely put it at the forefront of ethical retailing. (If you are so inclined, you can visit their corporate publication site at http://www.co-operative.co.uk/en/corporate/, and select from among a wide range of publication choices in the middle-page menu). The latest exercise is huge – they will be polling more than 4 million members for advice and opinions on a new ethical food policy. It will be the largest poll of ethics ever undertaken in the U.K. and will guide the group’s future Responsible Retailing Strategy. Initial focus groups and discussions have asked members to prioritize such issues as food quality, diet and health matters, animal welfare, community retailing, ethical sourcing, climate change and recycling. The final exercise will ask members to consider the adoption of truly sustainable positions that consider the previously mentioned issues in relation to each other.  Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Farmers’ Market of Nova Scotia Co-operative:  Visit http://www.nsfarmersmarkets.ca/ for a directory of local producers in Nova Scotia where you can get farm fresh produce.  It is the right time of year to find everything from corn and potatoes to cantaloupe (grown in NS!) and apples, all at your local Farmers’ Markets.  Farmers’ Markets are often supporters of co-operative businesses and many times are co-operative organizations themselves.  The next time you go for groceries, support a farmers’ market which support local farmers and producers, local economies, communities and co-ops. – Bronwyn MacKinnon

Waste Not Tips: Throwing away school lunches - Student who don’t like their lunches just leave them on the bus or throw them away.  Parents never know.  Recently, I attended a presentation by a local dietician on “Packing lunches to go”. She suggested that students make a list of what they want in the lunch but it has to be nutritious, not junk food.  They can go shopping at the grocery store and help select a 5-day lunch list   and as soon as they are able, helping the night before to pack the lunch.  Everybody wins!! MM  More next week!



What is Your Vision Statement?  –This week, a vision statement from Common Greens in Napa, CA which has farmers’ market information for shoppers and vendors,
for communities that already have a market and for those that want to start one. Its vision: “Our most sincere aim is to have each community enjoy, utilize and rely upon its farmers

market not only for food but also for wellbeing.” http://commongreens.comSend your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree  - The National Young Leaders Committee of the Canadian Credit Union System have been quite active over the past couple of years. Their vision is “to make the credit union system the number one employer for young leaders in the financial services industry.” In May of 2006, they released a report that detailed how to harness talent and leadership for young employees of credit unions, which was a result of their Task Force deliberations (report available at http://www.cucentral.ca/YoungLeaders06). This year they have initiated a database to document all young leaders in the credit union system, so if you or someone involved in your credit union should be included in this database, visit http://www.cucentral.ca/NYL_DB_July07 . – Erin Hancock


Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets.  From Taylor: “I thought it was really interesting to learn about the schools and I really liked it when she showed us how to wear all those clothes. I was surprised to hear how poor a lot of the people are. I thought a lot about the people after the big sunamee (tsunami).”


You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way - Each week, we feature a co-operative or collective formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world.  This week, we feature Calgary Co-op. Locally owned and operated, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America, with 413,000 members, 4,000 employees, $314 million in assets and annual sales of $884 million.   http://www.calgarycoop.com/about_us/


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·     September 20 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Braemore, 7 PM, St Ninian’s Place, Antigonish, NS

·     September 24 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Pictou County, 7PM, St Gregory’s Parish Hall

·     September 24 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Sydney, 6:30 PM, Steel Workers Hall

·     September 24 – Member Association Meeting – CCC River Road, 7 PM, KBM Hall

·     September 25 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Corridor, 6:30 PM, Shubenacadie Legion

·     September 25 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Saint John, 7 PM, Saint Mark’s Church

·     September 26 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Carol Wabush, 8 PM, Union Center

·     September 26 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Central Farmers Rustico, 7 PM, Rustico Lions Club

·     September 26 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Ken Val, 7 PM, Saint Mark’s Church Hall

·     September 27 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Consumers and Central Farmers Spring Park, 7 PM, Farm Center, University Avenue

·     September 27 – Member Association Meeting – CCC Mid Valley, 7 PM, Carleton Civic Center

·     September 27-30 – Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership camp,  Camp Gencheff, PEI http://www.acyl.coop/english/index.htm

·     September 27 - the Credit Union Atlantic  Fall Classic Golf Tournament in support of Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia. The tournament takes place at Oakfield Golf & County Club https://www.cua.com/

·     November 22-24 CWCF's AGM/Conference “Community Sustainaibility & Worker Co-ops”, Ancaster, Ontario. The basic info on the conference is available at:
http://coopzone.coop/en/node/2022.  It will be updated with details

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Contest of the week – Last week, the first three correct submissions all arrived in the mail box at almost the same time: Catherine Ann Fuller, NS, Ron Levesque NB, and David Kerr, MB. Well done!!  Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be place in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Last week’s contest: Three people check into a hotel. They pay $30 to the manager and go to their room. The manager suddenly remembers that the room rate is $25 and gives $5 to the bellboy to return to the people. On the way to the room the bellboy reasons that $5 would be difficult to share among three people so he pockets $2 and gives $1 to each person. Now each person paid $10 and got back $1. So they paid $9 each, totalling $27. The bellboy has $2, totalling $9. Where is the missing $1? Answer: We have to be careful what we are adding together. Originally, they paid $30, they each received back $1, thus they now have only paid $27. Of this $27, $25 went to the manager for the room and $2 went to the bellboy. This week’s contest:  Last week, I painted a one-foot cube block of wood, using red paint. Yesterday, I decided to cut this cube into smaller blocks, each 3 inches wide. How many of these smaller cubes had red paint on:

a) 4 of the sides?
b) 3 of the sides?
c) 2 of the sides?
d) 1 of the sides?
e) 0 of the sides?


Co-op Cooking – Here’s something that goes great with roast beef or steak.

Veggie Stacks
1/4-inch thick slice of eggplant or portobello mushroom
1/4-inch thick slice of red onion
1/4-inch thick slice of Bocconcini cheese
1/4-inch thick slice tomato
grated Asiago cheese
Assemble stacks by layering eggplant or mushroom, onion, Bocconcini cheese and tomato. Place stacks on cookie sheet and sprinkle with grated Asiago cheese. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, until cheese melts and veggies soften.-  Glenna Weagle


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Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world. We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.coady.stfx.ca/library/coop_circles/index.htm 


Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, September 26, 2007