Week of May 4– May 10, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 23

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings "With Fair Trade we have an incentive to invest in social programs that benefit producers and the community. We also receive higher incomes to sustain ourselves. If it weren't for Fair Trade, we wouldn't exist as banana producers since the amount we receive for a box of conventional bananas does not cover our expenses."
- Edinson Cabana Zapata, co-op member, ASOPROBAN banana cooperative, Colombia http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/bananas/asoprobancolombia.aspx 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

§      John Dechman, who served on the board of Co-op Atlantic, has died in Middle Musquodoboit. He was 87.  Dechman was a farmer and a co-op and community developer and took leadership positions over the years with Musquodoboit Valley Co-op, Co-op Atlantic, Arimathea Funeral Co-op, Dean Produce Co-op, and many other producer and agricultural associations. He was an honorary elder of St James United Church, Upper Musquodoboit, from where his funeral will be held on Monday, May 12. Arrangements are under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Co-op.

§      The Co-operators has released its 2007 Sustainability Report: Designing for Sustainability. The company would like Canadians to provide feedback on its performance. Respond to the e-survey   at www.cooperators.ca/sustainability_report. For every response they receive, $5 will be donated to the Tree Canada Foundation.

§      Consolidated Credit Union has entered into a unique ten-year partnership with the City of Summerside in support of the community’s sports, recreation, entertainment and meeting facility that will see the Summerside Wellness Center change its name to Credit Union Place. http://www.peicreditunions.com/news/article.php?ID=622 Inaugurated January 2008, Credit Union Place is Eastern Canada’s leading and most modern sports, recreation and entertainment and meeting complex accommodating conferences, performing arts events, cultural shows and sporting events such as the 2009 Canada Games. In addition to supporting the facility with an annual contribution over ten years, the Consolidated Credit Union will actively partner on innovative fundraising initiatives with its staff.

§      Brian L. Comeau was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes. http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=181 At the annual general meeting of the Caisses populaires acadiennes, he succeeded Guilda Landry who, in 2005, became the first woman to hold this position in the history of the Mouvement. She was also the first woman on the board of directors of Acadia Life. Comeau, at 35 years of age, is the youngest member of the board of directors to become chairman.

§      Donald French and Robert Gauvin have received the Ordre du Mérite Coopératif Acadien. http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=180 French, past member of the board of directors of the Office de stabilisation des Caisses populaires acadiennes and Robert Gauvin, former general manager of Caisse populaire de Tracadie, received the Ordre du Mérite Coopératif Acadien, as part of the Evening of Distinction during the Caisses populaires Acadiennes annual general meeting. This is the highest distinction awarded in the Acadian cooperative sector. With many years of work with the Caisses populaires acadiennes network under their belt, the impressive track record of these two gentlemen is testament to their commitment toward the Mouvement.

§      Atlantic Canadians wishing to help New Brunswick flood victims can do so by making a donation to the Red Cross relief and recovery efforts at their local credit union. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn= The Red Cross currently has more than 100 staff and volunteers plus vehicles and equipment deployed in the area, with back-ups in reserve. The most urgent need now is for funds to help flood-affected residents and communities along the Saint John River get back to normal once flood waters recede. Donation of $10.00 or more will automatically be receipted


Trends - This coming Saturday, May 10, is Pangea Day. Those familiar with Pangea know that it’s the name given to the big lump of visible ground that formed the Earth before continental drift began to set in. However this coming Saturday’s Pangea Day has no relation – save figurative – to the original Pangea. From Wikipedia: “On May 10, 2008 Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked to produce a 4-hour program of films, music and speakers. The program will be broadcast live at the same time across the world.” The idea for Pangea Day comes from documentary filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, a 2006 TED prize winner, whose ‘TED wish’ was to bring the world a little closer together through film’. (I’ve written about TED in this space in the past and you can find out more about TED at ted.com.) See pangeaday.org for more info on Pangea Day as well as a host of broadcast opportunities (click on ‘WATCH’ on the right-hand side.– Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - WorldChanging:  This is a very interesting “solutions-based online magazine that works from a simple premise: that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us. That plenty of people are working on tools for change, but the fields in which they work remain unconnected. That the motive, means and opportunity for profound positive change are already present. That another world is not just possible, it's here. We only need to put the pieces together.”  They cover so many areas of life from communities and business to politics and the planet.  Read more at: http://www.worldchanging.com/Bronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree If you are (or know of) a young co-operator who is interested in seeing the bigger picture of co-operation worldwide, you should visit the International Co-operative Alliance’s Youth Co-operative Network online. Through various forums and the sharing of information and publications, they state: “We contribute to the development of the Coop Movement through Connecting, Communicating and Representing young people who are involved or interested in cooperative experiences.” Read more at www.icayouth.coop/node/62 . You can visit the site specifically set up for youth from ‘The Americas’ at  http://www.icayouth.coop/taxonomy/term/6 Create your own postings or comment on something another young co-operator has posted! – Erin Hancock


Trading Fairly – Over the next few weeks, Co-op Circles will feature Web links to fair trade projects and products.  The Marquis Project in Brandon, Manitoba was started in the late ‘90s to deliver educational programs, to partner with Southern communities in development projects and to operate a fair trade store in downtown Brandon. For more go to: http://www.marquisproject.com/aboutmarquis.html


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: “I thought it was interesting that the kids have such a hard life. It made me feel bad. Also, it was cool how people made art work  from the tree skins and stuff.”Marlene, NS


Co-op Ed 101- While in Tuscany in March, I had the opportunity to visit an olive tree farm and see a demonstration on olive oil production. I was informed that many of the farms are members of the “Consorzio dell’Olio Toscano” (Tuscan Olive Oil Cooperative), which under the law, is recognized geographically as a controlled and protected area for the produce of extra virgin olive oil. http://oliveoilsoftuscany.com/

Tuscany is in central Italy and is currently regarded as the culinary king of olive oil production worldwide. The region has the reputation for marketing the finest olive oils in the world. The olives are hand or mechanically picked from the tree at the point of maturity and pressed to extract the precious oil on the same day. This operation is conducted at a low temperature to conserve aroma. Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil is green in colour with a tendency to have yellow highlights. The perfume is considered moderate and delicately fruity. It is also rich in vitamins E, A, and contains a high percentage of monosaturated acid fat of 78%, which in laymen’s terms means that it is without cholesterol. Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      June 12-14 – Co-op Housing Federation’s Annual General Meeting, Toronto, ON – The Future is Now

§      June 21-24 – 2008 Cooperative Communicators Association Institute, Portland, Maine, Hook Line & Sinker To register on-line go to www.commuicators.coop For further information, e-mail susie.bullock@communcators.coop

§      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


Contest of the Week - Last week’s contest must have been difficult as we had only one submission. This week, we will try another fun one.  See below. The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca Last week’s contest:  If a certain brand of ice cream is 99% fat-free, how many cups would I have to eat to ingest the same amount of fat that would be in 1 cup of regular ice cream? Answer: 100 cups. The ice cream that is 99% fat-free contains 1% of the amount of fat that would be in normal ice cream. Normal ice cream, of course, contains 100% of the amount of fat in normal ice cream. 100 divided by 1=100 This week’s contest: Eleanor found $4. Putting that $4 together with the money she had before her good luck, she now had 5 times the amount of money she would have had if she had lost $4. How much money did Eleanor have before she found the $4?


Co-op Cooking – Before we turn around strawberries will be on the vine and we will all be eager to pick our boxes and our bellies full. Perhaps you have not thought of tossing a few into a great salad. 
Strawberry-Bacon Spinach Salad
1 pkg fresh baby spinach (or about 6 oz from your garden)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar 
In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, bacon, onion and walnuts. In a small bowl or pitcher, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Toss the dressing with the salad just before serving, or serve the dressing on the side and allow everyone to add as much or as little as they like. - 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, May 14, 2008