Week of Nov. 4 – Nov. 10, 2007, Vol. 3, No.2

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life.” - A.J. Cronin www.biography.com/search/article.jsp?aid=9261998 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

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This Week in Co-op Circles

·     A brand new co-op store opened in Moncton, NB, this week at 615 Dieppe Blvd. It is the first new co-op to open in Atlantic Canada in a decade. Hundreds of customers poured through the store’s doors in its opening minutes after 10 a.m., following a ribbon cutting with Co-op Atlantic President Marcel Garvie, Dieppe Co-op manager Marcel Béliveau, President of the Dieppe Co-op board of directors, Calixte Losier, and Dieppe Mayor Achille Maillet. The four each spoke in a press conference as customers shopped in the new store.  The complete story is available at http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/business/article/119138

·     Delegates from Consumers Community Co-operative and delegates from Co-op Atlantic’s member co-operatives voted unanimously on Saturday, Nov. 3 to amalgamate the two co-operatives. On January 26, 2008, Consumers Community Co-operative will cease to exist. The members in its stores will become individual members of Co-op Atlantic. The Co-op Atlantic board will be the governing body. Local councils which are now in place in the 17 CCC locations will become advisory councils. Co-op Atlantic president Marcel Garvie thanked the CCC board members for their work during the past seven years in bringing most of these stores to a more positive position in the marketplace.

·     The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) is carrying out a survey of worker co-ops across the country through a project called Strengthening Membership.  The main purpose of this survey is to find out how CWCF can better support worker co-ops.  CWCF is also trying to ensure that worker co-ops are aware of the services it already offers.   The link for the survey is:  www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oKf6LKWBEX_2bxNaj3DKr0Sw_3d_3d   Note that this link contains the version for CWCF members.  There is a different version for non-members.   CWCF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Co-op Development Initiative of Agriculture Canada in carrying out this project.   You can request that the survey be done by telephone or in person. Contact Hazel Corcoran,  Executive Director, Phone/ fax: (403) 287-2069, or phone (403) 276-8250.  

·     The Fair Trade Soiree invites you to come out and experience educational fun with live music, free coffee and tea, a taste of fair trade food and Tom Walsh’s story of living in the Jambi Kiwi Co-op. Sponsored by the JustUs! Development & Education Society, the Fair Trade Soiree will be held Nov. 15, 7-9:30 PM, 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS

·     Daniel Thomas ‘Tom’ Moore passed away in New Glasgow, NS. Tom was born in Sydney, Oct. 25, 1947. Tom was elected to City of Sydney council when he was 24, and served two consecutive terms as the youngest alderman ever elected to the city council. Tom was regional director of the Nova Scotia Department of Housing from 1977 until his death.  He served as president of the New Glasgow Credit Union and was an executive board member of the Pictou County Co-operative Ltd.
E-mail condolences may be sent to: rh@rhporterfuneralhomesltd.ca.

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Trends – If you happened to be reading “Chemical and Engineering News” last week, you no doubt noticed the cover story, “Reining In Ripening”. The 9-page story provides a look into the future of vegetable growing, and specifically, vegetable and plant ripening. It turns out, there are scientists all over the world trying to figure out how to control plant ripening so that we can enjoy the full taste of our exotic fruits and vegetables all year round. The key words are ‘full taste’. Many of today’s high-value vegetables are grown for export markets, and therefore bred to withstand the rigours of travel and still look good for a while on the grocery store shelf. They are picked ‘green’ off the tree or plant so they can withstand the travel, and then in many cases exposed to ethylene gas to ‘trigger’ the ripening process – it is commonly done with bananas, for example (though it is important to note that many fruits and vegetables create their own ethylene to speed up the ripening process). Many fruits, tomatoes, apples and strawberries in particular, don’t have a chance to ever achieve their ‘full’ taste, given that a genetic mutation that slows down the ripening process also slows down the process that gives those fruits their full taste by a factor of two compared to garden grown varieties. Scientists have come up with different products designed to perfect the ripening process  by targeting the ethylene receptors in fruits and vegetables, and are now turning their attention towards boosting tomato flavours and adding new ones... Find out more here: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/85/8544cover.html    Ron Levesque

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Circle of Life - Buy Local:  Well now that Halloween is over, it is safe to talk about Christmas.  When you are doing your Christmas Shopping, think about supporting local businesses and artists.  There are many Craft Shows and Festivals in November and December, that feature local artists, as well as many co-operative craft shops and galleries.  The following links feature a Co-operative Shop in BC and a craft market in Halifax.www.circlecraft.net                     http://www.nsdcc.ns.ca/main/Christmas_market.html Happy Shopping!!– Bronwyn MacKinnon

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Co-op Ed 101 - Like many other delegates within the Co-op Atlantic system, I attended the special meeting held Saturday, November 3, in Moncton, which created a new structure for both the central co-operative wholesale, Co-op Atlantic, and Consumers Community Co-operative (CCC).  In January, 2008, CCC will cease to exist with its approximately 50,000 members becoming individual members of Co-op Atlantic.

In 2000, the Consumers Community Co-operative (CCC) had thirty-three retail food co-op branches in Atlantic Canada. Each of the branches used to be a smaller community co-operative, but predatory pricing forced them to band together. The merger, while preventing the co-ops from having to shut down, created new problems, some of which were related to the much larger scale of the CCC. It can be difficult to make a large organization relevant to local community needs. By October, 2007, there were only 17 CCC stores in operation. The creation of CCC in 2000 has been recorded in various publications and discussed at various conferences. An excellent summary by Tom Webb is available at http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/index.php?id=278 Having been a member of a co-operative retail board for nine years in the mid 1980’s and having served on the governance committee when CCC was set up, and currently co-chairing the CCC Moncton Local council, I watched with interest the discussion around this amalgamation. All co-operative stores and the newly named “Co-op Market Retail Locations” (the former CCC Stores), their Boards and Advisory Councils and their staff will have to work at making this amalgamation financially viable and democratically workable. As was suggested by Co-op Atlantic President Marcel Garvie on Saturday, we all have the option to put forward resolutions at the 2008 and subsequent AGMs until we are all satisfied that this new co-operative is what we want as our “Atlantic Co-operative”, serving all communities and all members.  If you would like to share your views on this amalgamation please send them to new1@nbnet.nb.ca. - Maureen MacLean  

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER) is planning their inaugural research conference to happen next year. If you work within the social economy, are a researcher or a student, you might be interested in learning more about this organization (http://www.anser-ares.ca/) and their conference (http://www.anser-ares.ca/proposals.asp). Some of the conference topics will include community economic development, social enterprises, citizen engagement and more. The conference will take place in Vancouver from June 4-6, 2008. However, if you are interested in submitting a proposal to present or facilitate, submissions are due January 14, 2008. All information is available on the above websites. – Erin Hancock

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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 Allie, PEI: “I liked how we got to see the worry dolls and the cloths.

I also think that when I’m older I’d like to join a group similar to what you are in and maybe actually travel to some of the places you have been. Thanks so much for the presentation.  It was awesome.”

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·     November 11 – Remembrance Day

·     November 14 - A Community Sustainability Workshop: Developing Renewable Energy for Sustainable Prosperity, featuring  Paul Gipe (internationally renowned expert on renewable energy),9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Glooscap Heritage Centre, Highway 102, Exit 13A, Truro, $20.00 (lunch and breaks included). Call Andrea Jackson at (902) 893-8966 or nscoopcouncil@eastlink.ca Sponsored by the Nova Scotia Co-op Council, the Federation of Agriculture and the David Suzuki Foundation

·     November 14 - Workshop on JAS (Japan's organic standards) in Charlottetown, PE, hosted by the PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-op. For more information, visit www.organicpei.com/content/page/front_news/id/11  

·     November 16 - The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council’s (PEICC) inaugural Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 16, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown. For more information, or to nominate a Board member, please email peicoopcouncil@gmail.com. All PEI co-op and credit union members are welcome to attend.

·      November 22-24 CWCF’s AGM/Conference “Community Sustainaibility & Worker Co-ops”, Ancaster, Ontario. http://www.coopzone.coop/en/CWCF_Conf07

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

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Contest of the week – Last week our winner was Beverley Rose, Texas. Her entry came in at almost the same time as three others: Ron Levesque, Sally White and Cathy Darland, all from NB.  But in a co-operative frame of mind, we gave Bev the recognition points since she is submitting from a different time zone.   The 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: Jake is very odd. He likes balloons, but does not like parties! He likes books, but does not like reading! He likes weeds, but does not like flowers! He likes swimming, but does not like water! Does he like towns or villages? Answer: Villages- he likes words with double letters. This week’s contest:  Assume that penguins live with a density of 1,000 penguins per square mile and can run at an average speed of 7 miles per hour on land and swim at 20 miles per hour. Also assume that a polar bear has a territory of 10 square miles, can run at 25 miles per hour and swim at 10 miles per hour. How many penguins will an average polar bear eat in any given month, remembering that a polar bear could, as a maximum, only eat one penguin per hour and 7% of the land is next to the sea.

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Co-op Cooking – As the weather cools I begin to look more often to dishes I can put in the oven and forget until mealtime. Casseroles seem to be a comfort food at this time of year. This one is great if you enjoy broccoli.  I use egg noodles, but any type you prefer will work equally as well. Glenna
Broccoli Casserole with Noodles
4 oz noodles, cooked
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 bunch broccoli, cleaned and cooked
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup cooked chicken, sliced
1 cup sour cream
Mix salt and pepper with melted butter and cooked noodles. Mix cooked broccoli with mushrooms. Combine chicken with sour cream. In a small casserole dish, arrange half of noodles; add meat mixture and broccoli. Top with remaining noodles. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. - Glenna Weagle

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Think About It! (New Feature) – Circle readers often find interesting, thought-provoking articles which inspire everyone to think about what could be, if we dare to lead. This week, an article, forwarded by a “Distinguished Co-operator” in her own right, Dr Leslie Brown. From The Guardian: Who can catch the Co-op? At the Co-op, sustainability isn’t simply a business aim, it is part of its strategy. That it has also been so successful puts its competitors to shame…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/05/greenlist.corporatesocialresponsibility If you have read something recently that you would like to share with Circle readers, send us the URL or Web link and we will gladly share it. News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca 

·     Greetings, I just wanted to thank you for sending these out....I always read through and usually am exposed to something new and interesting every week.- Bernard, Inkworks Press, Berkeley

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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, November 14, 2007