Week of August 31 – Sept. 6, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 37

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” - William James www.des.emory.edu/mfp/james.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

§      The Just Us! Coffee Roaster Co-op café in Halifax, NS, has declared itself a “Penny Free Zone”. The café’s policy comes after a bill suggesting the penny’s abolishment was introduced in the Canadian parliament in April. At the café, each purchase is rounded to the nearest five cents. A coffee that comes to $1.32 would have the customer pay $1.30 and a muffin that costs $1.73, would see the customer pay $1.75.  Debit and credit card purchases are not rounded off. “It’s something the café management thought was really great, so we’re trying it out, said Neil Zimmerman, a supervisor at the café. Parliament has yet to make a decision on whether the penny stays or goes.

§      Co-op and Valufoods stores have donated $92,650 to charity. http://www.coopatlantic.ca/htm.aspx?id=585 In June this year, Co-op Atlantic and Valufoods stores donated $76,650 to the IWK Children’s Hospital and $16,000 to the Janeway Children’s Hospital. in Newfoundland and Labrador.

§      Sussex Co-op recently received certification to manufacture organic feed at its Sussex feed mill in Sussex, NB. The Co-op will begin manufacturing organic feed this summer fall and will be the only mill in Atlantic Canada to do so. Ecocert, an internationally recognized control and certification organization and one of the world’s leaders in the area of organic farming products granted the certification. “There is a increasing demand for organic feed and a growing desire among farmers, and dairy processors in particular, to enter into the organic market in Atlantic Canada,” says Dave Arsenault, General Manager of the Sussex Co-op. “We look forward to being in a position to meet that demand by manufacturing organic feed at our mill.”

§      Co-op stores are inviting Atlantic Canadians to take part in the Eat Atlantic Challenge on Thursday, September 4 (tomorrow), by eating only Atlantic products for the entire day and discovering the benefits of choosing Atlantic products for their dinner table.  While the challenge is for Atlantic Canadians to eat Atlantic for a day on September 4, the larger goal is to help people understand the benefits of choosing food produced here whenever possible.  “Atlantic Canadians increasingly understand that there are huge benefits to eating food that’s been produced in our region,” said Bertha Campbell, a member of Co-op Atlantic’s Board of Directors, from Kensington, PEI. “We want to make it as easy as possible to make the Atlantic choice.” Co-op Atlantic is the wholesale and services business owned by the region’s Co-op stores. “We want people to think about their food and where it comes from,” Campbell said. “Co-ops not only support their members but they strive to ensure the sustainable development of their communities. Buying food grown by our neighbors is an important part of that.”

§      Members of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s international program committee were in Ghana recently for the first meetings that the committee has ever held outside of Canada.  “Part of our strategic direction is to engage our international partners in guiding CCA’s international program,” explains Senior Director of Development Jo-Anne Ferguson. “In the past we’ve brought our partners to Canada to meet with the committee. We thought it was time to give committee members—the individuals who guide our programming—the opportunity to meet our partners in their own environment and learn more about our work first-hand.”  The group held a roundtable with CCA’s two main partners in Ghana, the Credit Union Association of Ghana and the SEND Foundation, as well as representative primaries. The group started the week meeting with Canadian High Commissioner Darren Schemmer and visiting primary credit unions. As well, committee members were able to see results from various CCA programs including women’s mentorship, credit union coaching and youth experience international.

§      The Canadian Co-operative Association is looking for technical co-operants to help revive the credit union movement in the Ukraine. The Council of Ukrainian Credit Union of Canada has been helping CCA in its work to support these developments. If you are interested in helping, go to www.coopsCanada.coop or e-mail: Bohdan.Kozy@CoopsCanada.coop CCA is also looking for a technical co-operant to help achieve sustainable canola production in the Peruvian Highlands. For more information, go to CCA’s Web site.

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Trends - Do you want to save the environment, or do as your fellow humans do? A study to be published in the upcoming Journal of Consumer Research suggests that more people will adopt a herd mentality and do as their fellow humans do, even if the end result is similar: “to save the environment”. The study of hotel guests and the re-use of towels found that messages on signs highlighting environmental impact are not as successful as those focusing on the actions of fellow guests. So “Help Save The Environment” was less compelling to guests than “Join Your Fellow Guests in Helping to Save the Environment”. The latter implies other guests are co-operating, and that’s when the herd mentality kicks in. From Wikipedia: “Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group.” Researchers were then able to boost participation further on a room-by-room basis by posting more specific messages, such as “Seventy-five Percent of Guests in This Room Reused Their Towels”. Something to think about next time you’re wondering why you bought that thing you don’t want...  –Ron Levesque

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Circle of Life -Eat Atlantic Challenge, September 4, 2008:  Co-op Atlantic has launched an Eat Atlantic Contest where you could win $250 of Atlantic products.  Visit the website for more information about the contest, stories from people about their “Eat Atlantic” experiences and the many reasons to “Eat Atlantic”.  http://www.co-opsonline.com/EatAtlantic/index.cfm/en/home  Contest closes October 14, 2008. - Bronwyn MacKinnon

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree Rachel Horwat, a Master’s of Environmental Policy, Science, and Management student, is seeking help from other co-operators. Her research deals with “agricultural cooperatives in Quebec, and their positive role in promoting sustainable development (e.g. local food consumption, rural development, responsible agriculture practices, etc).” Rachel is hoping to gain some suggestions about how to study co-operatives, what methodologies might work and how to classify co-operatives. Rachel is new to co-ops so any information you can offer would be helpful. Please send any ideas to her at ra_horwat@hotmail.com  – 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. This week: “Thank you for coming to our class in Sussex. I liked to hear about the green water and that it is warm to swim in the ocean. I’m sorry that they have so much pollution. I hope we can help.” – Ryan, Grade 8

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Trading Fairly --The Preda Foundation has been trading with partners both North and South in the fair trade movement since 1974. As a Southern Alternative Trading Organization and former member of the executive Committee of the International Association of Fair Trade (IFAT) Preda has been contributing to the concept of Fair Trade and Alternative Trade for some time. Preda has been marketing and exporting the products of many producer groups and supports a Grameen Type banking system project for 240 impoverished women in Olongapo. http://www.preda.net/ftpapr01.htm

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Co-op Ed 101 - With the terrible news about Maple Leaf meat products having a strain of Listeria bacteria  http://www.680news.com/more.jsp?content=20080825_070816_32552 this article on Atlantic products caught my eye. As consumers, we can support production as close to home as possible. http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=158323&sc=586 Atlantic female business leaders are looking to expand their markets for potato, vegetable and maple syrup products and recently participated in a trade mission to Philadelphia and New York. Deborah Childs McCluskey of Saint John, NB, took part in the trade mission. Her Child’s Foods uses New Brunswick-grown potatoes for its frozen croquettes and Yorkshire puddings. In 2003, the company received the ‘New Product Award’ from the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.  McCluskey hopes to expand Child’s Foods into central Canada by the end of the year. A Little Gift, a family owned business in Bonshaw, Prince Edward Island, also took part in the trade mission. The company produces pure maple syrup, candy, butter, cream, wood products and giftware from its sugary. Its products are handmade in the workshop located in the Strathgartney maple forest.  The mission was part of the 2008 Women Exporters’ Initiative, a five-month export readiness program, organized by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (Nova Scotia Division), funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.  Prior to the US trip, participants were provided with export training, mentoring and business guidance. Some 40 Atlantic women business owners took part in two previous Initiative programs. - Maureen MacLean

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Oct 15 – The Big Co-op 50/50 Charity Give Away, Moncton Co-op stores – inquire at Mapleton Road and Record Street stores

§      Nov 13-15 – Canadian Worker Co-op Federation AGM and Conference, Winnipeg, MB

§      Nov 15, 2008 – CUSO’s Dance for the World event, Halifax, NS

§      Feb 2 – 5, 2009 Institute for Co-operative Studies, Banff, AB. Presented by the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Institute of Co-operative Studies is the only national co-operative event that contributes to the development of leadership across organizations and sectors within a co-operative and credit union context. Details, as they become available, will be posted to www.CoopsCanada.coop/meetings/instituteofcoopstudies.

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Contest of the Week – We didn’t get any correct answers last week. Good luck this week!!! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end drawing. The contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca. Last week’s contest: If March = 43 and May = 39, then by the same logic, what does July equal? Answer:  July = 68. Each letter is replaced by the number of its position in the English alphabet. Then the numbers are added together. This week’s contest: After a day picking strawberries I had a basket full. I ate 5 and gave Geoff half of the remaining. I then ate another 3 and gave Simon one third of the remaining. I ate another 6 and then gave Kim two thirds of the remaining. I now had 34 strawberries left. How many did I start with?

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Co-op Cooking –Here's another great barbecue recipe. These veggies go well with grilled chicken, beef or pork.
Marinated Veggie Kabobs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine or herb flavoured vinegar
2 tsp dried tarragon leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
16 large fresh mushroom caps
12 mini red potatoes (see note)
1 large red or green pepper, seeded
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, tarragon, garlic and pepper; stir in mushrooms, potatoes, peppers, and zucchini to marinade. Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours, tossing occasionally. Thread mushrooms, potatoes, peppers and zucchini alternately onto four metal skewers; reserve any marinade. Grill or broil kabobs over medium high heat, turning several times and brushing with reserved marinade, about 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Note - Mini potatoes are about 1-1 ½-inches; if not available cut small potatoes in half or quarters and precook for 2-3 minutes. Greek Style: Substitute lemon juice for vinegar, dried oregano and mint for tarragon, and add a pinch of hot red pepper flakes to the marinade. Substitute large cherry tomatoes for potatoes, and add red onion wedges. Grill 8-10 minutes; serve with grilled whole wheat pita halves, tzatziki and crumbled feta. - 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, Sept. 10, 2008