Week of Apr. 13– Apr. 19, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 20

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems.” - Bill Watterson  www.andrewsmcmeel.com/calvinandhobbes/interview_text.html  -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

§      Credit Union Atlantic of Halifax, NS, was named the 2007 Coady Award winner at the Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia’s annual general meeting held in Halifax, last week. “It’s gratifying that our efforts, particularly in the areas of environmental awareness and community economic development, have been so positively received,” says Jamie Baillie, CUA’s president and CEO. “CUA strives to be an active and effective community member….Our values include being responsive to the needs of our customer-owners, community and the environment and they help define how we can provide value to the community we serve.” In 2007, CUA developed a green plan to help focus on its environmental commitment. Each branch has an employee “green rep” to help implement green ideas. CUA participates in AWEDA (All-Women’s Empowerment and Development Association) Co-operative initiative, which helps immigrant and refugee women build skills to start their own businesses. The credit union also provided a $25,000 donation to the building of the new Coady International Institute. It also actively supports Junior Achievement in Nova Scotia. The Coady Award is given in memory of Dr Moses R Coady, social activist, adult educator and co-operative entrepreneur. He spearheaded the Antigonish Movement and sparked a wave of co-operative development across Atlantic Canada.

§      Four people working in credit unions in Nova Scotia received special mention at the recent annual general meeting of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador credit unions for the work they are doing as part of a Canadian Co-operative Association coaching program. All spent time in the African nations of Ghana, Malawi and Uganda recently helping credit union personnel there address some of their concerns as their credit unions struggle as they attempt to meet the demands of products and services from their owners. Mel Gosse, operations manager, League Savings and Mortgage, Kevin Cooke, branch manager, Coastal Financial Credit Union, Yarmouth, Willy Robinson, general manager, iNova Credit Union, Halifax, and Vivian Campbell, manager, credit union consulting services, Halifax, participated in the national coaching program with counterparts from across Canada. http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1049196.html

§      Bathurst will be the host of the Caisses populaires acadiennes Annual Congress, which will be held on April 18 and 19. This event will bring hundreds of representatives of the cooperative world in the Chaleur region. http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=175 During the Annual Meeting, on Saturday, April 19, the Mouvement will reveal its 2007 financial highlights. A special Distinction reception, held on the previous evening, will honour employees who will be joining the Club Quart de siècle, for having devoted over 25 years of service to the Mouvement. The recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award, the Prix Sénateur Hervé-Michaud award, as well as the highest award of the Mouvement, namely the Ordre du Mérite Coopératif Acadien, will be announced.

§      As of March 17, 2008 Credit Unions in PEI became part of the No SUR! network. This allows owners to use any ATM machine in the United States that display the No SUR! logo and have their withdrawals surcharge free. If you have any questions on this new service, please contact your Credit Union. http://www.peicreditunions.com/news/article.php?ID=626

§      The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) Board of Directors announces the resignation of Rupert Downing, Executive Director. After more than six years in the position, Downing is leaving to move on to other areas of interest in the CED field while setting aside time to work on personal projects.  Under Mr. Downing's leadership, the Network has grown to involve over 10,000 communities, organizations and institutions across Canada. Today the Network is the major national voice for community economic development.  Visit the website - www.ccednet-rcdec.ca - for the detailed job description.

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Trends - I’m going to go out and put my reputation as a “co-opy” kind of person on the line and just say it: “I’m starting to think of Wal Mart as the store I hate to like.” There, I said it. I’m not crazy about the behemoth that batters suppliers to bring all of us lower prices (we do love our lower prices, don’t we?), but I have to say they have been doing some things really...correctly. For one, Wal Mart seems to have taken the position that being environmentally responsible does not necessarily add to the cost of doing business, and that it may save them and their customer’s money. In 2005 their CEO set forth this goal: “To be supplied with 100% renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain our resources and our environment.” At the time, they were targeting a 25 per cent increase in fuel efficiency from their truck fleet within three years. In 2006, they announced their goal of selling 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs, potentially saving their customers $3 billion over the life of the bulbs. Some of their private label coffees are certified by either Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance or USDA Organic. Then last week they announced they would pay cotton growers premium ‘organic prices’ for ‘transitional cotton’ during the three years required for the fields to become certified organic – typically a tough time for most farmers converting to organic. There are still many things to not like about the company, but it’s difficult to ignore some of the things they are doing right. Ron Levesque

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Circle of Life - Sustainable Landscaping:  I’ve been in my yard for about a week, now that sun is out, and have been thinking about how to make all of my projects and plantings sustainable and environmentally friendly.  So far, we’ve reused wood and brick, that were used in previous projects when we bought the house, to make birdfeeder posts, a bench and fire pit.  Nothing bought, nothing wasted!  Here are some sites on sustainability and recycling to apply in your own backyard:

http://www.clean.ns.ca/default.asp?mn=1.274.275

http://www.theurbanfarmer.ca/

http://www.life.ca/nl/64/organics.htmlBronwyn MacKinnon

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree Stuart Neatby, a former young co-op developer and member of the Mobilizing Youth to Deliver Advisory Services has taken a leading role as Managing Editor with The Dominion News Co-operative. This monthly paper and blog focuses on “accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles,” and “examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.” If you would like to learn more visit www.dominionpaper.ca or find information about membership at http://www.mediacoop.ca/Erin Hancock

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Trading Fairly – Over the next few weeks, Co-op Circles will feature Web links to fair trade projects and products. As consumers, we can make choices to support local producers in our own backyard and producers in the developing world, so that both are treated fairly and can have a livelihood that is life sustaining. This week we visit La Siembra, an Ottawa-based worker co-op whose fairly products can be found here in Atlantic Canada. La Siembra Co-operative, founded in 1999, produces Fair Trade Certified and certified organic Cocoa Camino products. The co-op’s mission is to offer high-quality Fair Trade Certified organic chocolate, cocoa and sugar products that improve the livelihoods of family farmers and the well-being of communities at home and abroad. The co-operative chooses to identify with its producer partners by adopting the same democratic, participatory and transparent model that they follow in their own co-operatives  http://www.lasiembra.com/en/index.php  La Siembra’s Educational Toolkit “Get Fair in the Classroom” is available for downloading on its Web site.

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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. This week from Yarmouth, NS: “Today I learned something new. I learned that some of the people never go to school because they cannot afford it. I am happy we can all go to school for free in Canada.”

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

·     April 25-26 – Inaugural annual general meeting, Co-operative Enterprise Council, Crowne Plaza, Moncton, NB

·     April 25-26 – Co-op Atlantic Annual General Meeting

·     June 23-28, 2008 - What’s Working in Community Development conference, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia The pre-conference announcement can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/PreConfLo.pdf  If you are submitting an abstract or presentation outline, it must be received by December 31st, 2007.  The call for abstracts/presentations can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/AbstractsLo.pdf

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Contest of the Week – Congratulations to  Larraine Perry.  She was the first one of the eight entries that had all the people in the right apartment.  The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be placed in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw.  Last week’s contest: An apartment building has two floors, with three apartments on each floor. The Grays live in the top middle apartment. The Blues live directly above the Browns. If the Greens live on the top floor, then they live next door to the Blues. The Whites live to the left of the Greens, either on the top or bottom floor. The Blacks live on the top floor. Which family lives in which apartment? Answer: Top floor, left to right: Blacks, Grays, Blues; bottom floor, left to right: Whites, Greens, Browns This week’s contest: Janice has $2.46 worth of coins in her pocket. The coins are of four different denominations, and she has the same number of each denomination. What are the four denominations?

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Co-op Cooking  - This recipe is great for serving at a family get-together or other large gathering.  Note that you will need butcher twine.   

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Turkey Breast

6 slices bacon 1 medium onion, diced 1 skinless, boneless turkey breast (approx 3 lbs)

1 cup chicken stock

1 large onion, sliced

2 tbsp olive or canola oil

Stuffing:
1 cup cooked spinach, chopped and very well drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Glaze:
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic, minced
In a pan, fry bacon until slightly crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, sauté onions until softened. Remove from pan and set aside.

To prepare stuffing, combine all stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and set aside

To prepare glaze, blend all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To butterfly the turkey breast, slice down the centre of the breast lengthwise to half the depth of the breast. Open the slice and slide your knife to the left of the breast sideways leaving 1” of meat at the end and creating a flap or pouch. Repeat this step to the right of the breast until you are able to “open” the two flaps like a butterfly.

Line the butterfly breast inside with the bacon slices. Layer in the sautéed onions and then the stuffing. Close the butterfly by folding the ends in and then folding the flaps together. Tie the breast tightly closed by tying around it with the butcher twine. Rub the breast with the glaze. Heat a large oven-proof pot over medium heat; add two tablespoons of oil. Brown the turkey on all sides and remove. Add chicken stock and deglaze the pot (scrape the brown bits of flavor into the stock). Layer the sliced onion on the bottom of the pot and place the turkey on top. Cover and bake at 350F for 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the breast (until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees). Remove from pot. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, slice, spoon over the pan drippings and onions and serve!  - Glenna Weagle

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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

§      “We're glad to see that you'll be paying some extra attention to Fair Trade in the upcoming newsletters. You might like to include something about La Siembra, the Ottawa worker co-op behind the Cocoa Camino brand of Fair Trade chocolate, cocoa & sugar.  Also, are you aware of a joint Canadian/US effort to create a model of Fair Trade for Cdn/US farms? Equal Exchange and Farmers Direct co-op from the Cdn prairies and others (including the Organic Valley co-op) did this recently and Equal Exchange has now been selling what we call "domestic Fair Trade" products from US farms (including farmer co-ops in California & Georgia) for a year now. see www.equalexchange.coop/dft For a proper introduction broader coalition behind this see: http://www.equalexchange.com/what-is-domestic-fair-trade” Regards, RN,  MA

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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, April 23, 2008