Building Our Community, Together

Tuesday, 02 August 2011 16:10

By Ethan Winn, 

Membership Committee Chair

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

— Statement on the Cooperative Identity, 
International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)

Ethan_Winn_MailingImagine this: you're saying goodbye to a friend as you head off to get some groceries at GreenStar, and your friend asks: "I know you're really into that GreenStar place, but what makes it so special?"

How do you respond?

You could tell your friend about the range of products that can be found at GreenStar, the bulk section and the local produce and the selection of crafts. But that would leave out programs like the FLOWER low-income discount and the work being done by GreenStar Community Projects, as well as the classes on healthy living and one-minute activist campaigns. And what about that whole co-op piece?

Read more: Building Our Community, Together

Helping Japan's Co-ops Rebuild

Friday, 15 April 2011 21:02

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

11-04-japanToday, I'm really scared of the rain.

—Tokyo resident speaking to reporters

About 16,000 years ago, the first civilizations began in Japan. These Mesolithic peoples lived in villages, practiced basic staple agriculture and cooked over fires using the oldest cookware found on Earth. These first communities shared ritual spaces, food preparation areas and even burial tracts.

Japan may also have had some of the earliest cooperatives, dating back to primitive credit and loan societies, or tanomoshi-ko, begun in medieval times. During the Edo period, beginning in the early 1600s, some people who were less economically powerful pooled their resources in mutual assistance groups. In the late 1700s, farmers set up rural credit unions culminating in the renowned Hotokusha, or "societies for returning virtue." These were true cooperatives that were created at just the same time as those of the Rochdale Pioneers.

Read more: Helping Japan's Co-ops Rebuild


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