Week of Dec. 9 – Dec. 15, 2007, Vol. 3, No. 6

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don't have to do anything else. We don't have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.” - Margaret J. Wheatley http://www.margaretwheatley.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

·     The results of the Co-op Development Foundation fundraising during Co-op Week have been tabulated and this year the co-ops and credit unions that participated, donated a total of $3,286. Thanks to every one. Your contributions will allow CDF to access approximately $10,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency to assist Canadian Co-operative Association to continue its overseas co-operative development programming. A special mention goes to Grenfell Consumers Co-op in St. Anthony, NL, which raised more than $1,000. Beaubear Co-op in Nelson-Miramichi and CCC-Sackville Co-op also provided substantial contributions. Everyone pitched in and the combined efforts of everyone who participated really do make a world of difference to people living in developing countries.

·     Gordon Head, manager of Grenfell Consumers Co-op in St Anthony, NL, has been recently appointed as the manager of Lewisporte Co-op, Lewisporte, NL. Cyril Boone, Lewisporte’s former manager, has taken on other duties for Co-op Atlantic in NL. Congratulations to both!

·     Basket Weavers Co-op in Richmond, PEI, received good news recently that an expansion has been approved, which includes a new driveway and parking lots, and the construction of a new 30 by 66 ft building which will have a work area, museum gift shop and interpretive centre and a storage room. The end result is that the old traditional ash splint basketry will live on and provide more meaningful work for people. It has taken a lot of committed people to get to this point, says Ann McIsaac, one of the founding members. For more information contact: Ann at tommycod@pei.sympatico.ca]

·     The $12-million investment in the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Albany, P.E.I., includes $2 million from each of the Maritime government and, from the federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, $6 million to develop, market and produce a line of high-end beef products. The beef plant, which is in Albany, P.E.I., opened three years ago and has lost $10 million. The one-time funding will be spent on marketing, equipment and training. In particular, the plant will focus on developing specialized, value-added products. For more information on this investment, visit: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071210.NATS10-3/TPStory/TPNational/Atlantic/ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2007/12/10/beef-money.html?ref=rss http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/12/10/beef-direct.html?ref=rss

·     Fast Company magazine has announced that it has awarded one of its fifth annual Social Capitalist Awards to Equal Exchange, the worker co-operative best known for its pioneering work in Fair Trade foods and beverages.  For the first time, this year’s awards feature both nonprofits and for-profit organizations who use the tools of business to solve the world’s most pressing social problems – ranging from rural poverty in developing nations to homelessness, unemployment and substance abuse in the United States – and who have demonstrated a consistent and unusually large impact on society. Equal Exchange was recognized for their commitment to Fair Trade with small-scale farmer co-operatives; for delivering significant social and economic benefits year after year; for their novel capital model that distributes the benefits of success more equitably and protects the employees’ democratic control of the business; and for demonstrating the commercial viability of these innovations by profitably growing the company to nearly $30 million in annual sales. For the complete Fast Company profile of Equal Exchange see: www.fastcompany.com/social/2008/profiles/equal-exchange.html This is Equal Exchange’s third such award in the last two years. In February, Equal Exchange was also named to Worldblu’s list of the World’s Most Democratic Companies. In May 2006, Equal Exchange garnered the SBANE Innovation award for its unique Fair Trade/worker co-op business model and capital structure. www.equalexchange.coop


Trends – There was a story in The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/09/AR2007120900403_pf.html last weekend headlined “Products With Good Bacteria Get Popular”. You have perhaps bought some in your local Co-op or grocery store. They are popular in some dairy products, yogurts for example, and purport to help digestion. It turns out, the trend of ‘good bacteria’ is not necessarily new. Humans have known about the beneficial effects of some bacteria since at least the beginning the previous century when milk fermented with lactic-acid bacteria would inhibit the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut - read: your stomach. They did not necessarily know why, but researchers found that it worked.  All this leads me to wonder about how our food is prepared today. We all know food safety is a good thing, but have we gone so far to the right that we have to manufacture food with these ‘good’ bacteria? Here is an interesting side note about a cheese manufactured on the Île d’Orléans in Quebec. In 1965, the making of cheese from the Île d’Orléans had to be stopped because of government regulations against the use of raw or unpasteurized milk. Try as they might, people over the years attempted to recreate the cheese in other locations using pasteurized milk, but to no avail. It was only after years and years that researchers discovered that, while the cheese recipe called for the milk to come in contact with rose bushes, it didn’t get its unique taste from the bushes themselves, but from the unique mix of bacteria and yeasts that covered the Île d’Orléans rose bushes. Once those were identified, pasteurized milk could be used and the cheese from l’Île d’Orléans was saved.  Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - From now until Christmas, Circle of Life will be featuring a variety of charities, causes and events that support people and communities around the World.  Often it is hard to know what to buy for people and making a donation to different organizations is a good option.  At Christmas time, most organizations also have a gift that comes with the donation, like a stuffed animal.  The Holiday season also tends to be a time when people look for a way to give back, a way to help others in their community, whether it is helping a person living in poverty or an elderly next door neighbor who needs some help shoveling or putting up Christmas lights. So, we will give you some ideas, but we also want to know what you and your local co-ops and credit unions are doing this holiday season.  Send your ideas to: news1@nbnet.nb.ca So far this season, I have purchased a cookbook supporting a local environmental organization, a calendar supporting an animal shelter, a CD supporting the food bank and gave a toy as a donation at a Christmas party for work.  The great thing is all of these gifts are causes that the recipients care about very much.  Here are 10 tips for a Green Christmas:

1. A real tree can be an environmental choice this Christmas. For every tree harvested at a tree farm, another 10 are planted to ensure a crop every year; and one acre of Christmas trees on a farm will produce enough oxygen to support about 18 people and remove up to 13 tonnes of airborne pollutants per year

2. Buy a potted tree native to your region from a nursery and plant it once the holidays are over. This may require digging a hole in the yard before the ground freezes and covering it with plywood until New Year's. Or buy a potted Norfolk Island Pine, which can survive indoors year-round and serve as your tree for many Christmases to come.

3. Switch your Christmas tree twinklers to LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights. LEDs come in the same brilliant colours as standard lights and use a fraction of the wattage of your older ones.

4. Before heading to the store for decorations, check your backyard. Make a centrepiece out of pinecones, or hang evergreen tree boughs over entranceways. Decorate your tree with edible decorations like popcorn strings or cranberry wreaths (thread 10 to 15 cranberries on a string and tie to create a wreath).

5. Instead of buying trinkets or packaging-laden gift baskets for friends, give a gift certificate for a dinner out or theatre tickets. Or make your own vouchers, good for a night of free babysitting.


6. Instead of battery-powered toys and games, keep the kids on your list active with a gift of sporting equipment or a voucher for an outdoor activity.

7. For the person who has everything, why not donate to your favourite charity on their behalf? Sponsor a child or donate livestock to a village in need through organizations like World Vision Canada. Then send an electronic greeting card, or one printed on recycled paper with details about the gift.

8. Before heading to the mall, check out online earth-friendly shopping tips and advice, like those found on the World Wildlife Fund's Be, Live, Buy Different campaign website.

9. When wrapping gifts, go for reusable cloth gift bags instead of the paper ones, or skip bags altogether by grabbing some vintage cookie tins at your local second-hand store to use instead.

10. Instead of buying new rolls of chemical-laden wrap, go with what you already have at home. Use old newspapers topped with a colourful ribbon or bow. If your child has an artistic streak, add a personal touch to Grandma's gift by reusing their finger paintings. Reuse old Christmas cards to create brand new gift tags, and keep any wrap or bows you receive to reuse next year.
Source: www.Homemakers.com

Bronwyn MacKinnon


Co-op Ed 101 - This week I was going to feature a craft co-op and suggest that you support a co-op as you shop for Christmas but the Web search led to so many craft co-ops that I couldn’t choose one to feature. So I will highlight the Alderberry Village Craft

Co-op, 781 Prince Street, Truro, NS, B2N 1G7, (902) 893 0159, http://www.alderberry.ca/order.html and suggest you see their attractive web site and I am including another 4 Web links for you to visit.

 Enjoy, and happy Christmas browsing.


http://members.cox.net/cccoop/ http://www.circlecraft.net/sites/circlecraft2/files/homepage.htm


http://www.pemaquidcraftcoop.com/ - Maureen MacLean 


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Students in grades 1-12 are invited to submit a video to the www.quantumshift.tv contest which asks students to share an environmental, social justice or human rights project that they have created. Prizes include $50, 000 cash, which could help with many community projects. For more information, visit http://www.quantumshift.tv/schools Note that the first video introducing the team and the project theme need to be submitted by December 15.

  – 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 Jason, Grade 7, Fredericton, NB: “What I learned was that the world still is underdeveloped and that not many people are helping people around the world to develop but it could be helping keep their religion. I learned that we are very lucky to live in Canada and that other countries have some cool things. I thought that the type of money she gave the class at the end of the presentation was really cool because it had a hole in it.”


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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


Contest of the Week - Last week, the correct response was from Mark Gorman,
NBTA Credit Union, Fredericton, NB. Well done!
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: A woman took a certain number of eggs to market and sold some of them. The next day, through the industry of her hens, the number left over had been doubled, and she sold the same number as the previous day. On the third day the new remainder was trebled, and she sold the same number as before. On the fourth day the remainder was quadrupled, and her sales were the same as before. On the fifth day what had been left over were quintupled, yet she sold exactly the same as on all the previous occasions and so disposed of her entire stock. What is the smallest number of eggs she could have taken to market the first day, and how many did she sell daily? Answer:






















She started out with 103 eggs and sold 60.

This week’s contest: Christmas Riddles

1.      What did the reindeer say before launching into his comedy routine?

2.      What do lions sing at Christmas?

3.      When is a boat like a pile of snow? 

4.      What do you call the fear of getting stuck in a chimney?

5.      How do snowmen get around?

6.      What does Santa call reindeer that don’t work?


Co-op Cooking – Unbelievable how quickly the days are speeding by. Before we have a chance to turn around we will all be in the middle of Christmas. These last couple of weeks sometimes turn into a round of parties. Here is a great cheese ball that travels well. Or you can use it as an appetizer at your own Christmas get-together. 
Cheese Ball
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 small onion, finely minced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red and green pepper
1/2 cup grated or chopped pecans
Let cheeses come to room temperature. Mix together with onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, lemon juice and peppers. Form into ball or log. Roll in chopped pecans. Serve with assortment of your favourite crackers. Note: Red and green maraschino cherries, well drained, work as well for colour. - Glenna Weagle


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 


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, December 19, 2007