International Year of Cooperatives is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development. From Argentina to Zambia, the 1.4 million co-operatives across the globe will be celebrating and showing how they build a better world. (from the UN website)
On October 31 of last year, the United Nations General Assembly launched the International Year of Cooperatives. Cooperatives are businesses that are owned and managed by their members. In southern Oregon, there are several cooperatives that you might have noticed: Rogue Federal Credit Union (RFCU), the Grange Coop, Ashland Food Coop, and the Medford Food Coop. Recently, Bill Meyer of KMED, interviewed managers of those coops on RFCU’s Living Local Blog (hosted by Gene Pelham). You can link to that interview here. Two things that I learned from that interview are that those four cooperatives provide jobs for more than 600 people in southern Oregon and they have combined gross sales of $113 million.
Tonight my husband, who manages the Medford Food Coop, was at a coop meeting. I thought I would surprise him and his team with dessert. Shortly after their meeting began, I walked in with a Chocolate Pecan Pie (still warm from the oven) to help them keep up their strength for the tasks at hand.
As I drove home, the aroma of that pie was still present and smelled so delicious, it’s a wonder I was able to give it away at all!