Coop de France, the federation of French agricultural cooperatives, represents some 2,500 cooperatives and generates 86 billion Euros annually. It’s an imposing economic force: 40% of all agrifood in France is produced by their cooperatives. Last year, the organisation wanted to gauge the pulse of the network’s member cooperators. They also wanted to check on the adequacy of cooperative specificities in terms of society’s new expectations, such as environmental urgency, business models and the younger generations’ commitment.
Delicious papayas, mangoes and pineapple! Such refreshing fruit! I love to make them into scrumptious salads, they help me forget about this never-ending winter and they provide comfort while I wait for the first strawberries to arrive. Isn’t it wonderful how we can find these exotic fruit on your neighbourhood supermarket shelves at such affordable prices and enjoy them all year long?
Last spring, a study conducted by Dr Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, revealed that 2.3% of Canadians – particularly millennials – identified as vegan. Being vegan is embracing a rather radical position. Vegans systematically reject any use of animals; it is a refusal to consume foods containing animals or animal-derived substances, complete rejection of leather, wool and duvet, as well as any medication that has been tested on animals, etc.
I recently attended a conference given by Marie Bernard-Meunier, a career diplomat who was the Canadian ambassador to Germany from 2000 to 2004. She is indeed a diplomat. Although diplomacy is not a topic I talk about on a daily basis, unless it relates to the ability of saying something unpleasant in a manner that will not offend the party. However, with Marie Bernard-Meunier, it was rather the core function on the international stage that was examined.
The year cooperative principles were most recently reviewed was back in 1995, and independence is among the core principles of cooperatives as a whole. In fact, it was after an extensive consultation of its members that the International Alliance of Co-operatives implemented this precept as a cooperative principle. But why in 1995?
City dwellers are increasingly turning to agriculture and loving it! Gardens are popping up everywhere, from balconies, terraces to rooftops and community gardens; any type of space is suitable for renewing with the ancient tradition and know-how of growing food. Even if the end results are hardly ever optimal, the benefits are many: Developing skills, beautifying the environment, as well as the positive impacts on public health and the social fabric, just to name only a few.
La Coop network is undergoing a transformation. Much more than a simple reorganisation; our network is experiencing a major revision. In the end, its business model will have been completely transformed. Its components will be more responsive, and its activities will be more efficient and less costly. The new model will bring about greater transparency and better risk-sharing within the network.
WHO IS PATRICK DUPUIS
Patrick is Deputy Editor at the magazine Coopérateur.Agronomist graduated from McGill University, he also studied sustainable development. He works at the Cooperateur for over twenty years.
On May 1st, which was also International Workers’ Day, the Co-operative Federation conducted a survey on how people perceive their jobs. As a participant, I had to ask myself: What does work represent for me? I didn’t have to think too long. I answered with “a driving force for personal and collective development.” Then, as I was clicking on SEND, I was feeling a little uneasy.
Cooperative economics has almost become a one-size fits all notion of economics. And yet, if cooperative economics is an economy of collaboration, the opposite is seldom true: A very small part of collaborative economics is indeed cooperative.
We are living in the information era. There is no longer any need to collect costly home encyclopaedias or even to go to the library to read them: There’s an answer to everything, and it’s really easy, just look it up on the internet. Access to knowledge is no longer a luxury reserved for the elite. Almost everyone can take advantage of it at very little cost. What a breakthrough for humanity!