The Cooperative Economy | Orion Magazine

I’m returning to the idea of worker ownership and cooperatives on this blog again after reading the excellent interview in the most recent Orion Magazine shared with me by Stacy Miller, freelance researcher and project advisor at Farmers Market Coalition. I believe that the future of community food systems depends on us rescuing traditional work and community structures and creating some new ones too. We cannot expect the small businesses we work with to thrive when being asked to return to the industrial production or delivery systems of the mid 20th century that bankrupted them and helped to isolate all of us before.
Cleveland Ohio was my original home and so I follow the exciting news from there on issues like Evergreen Cooperatives, as well as the many, many other worker-owner hubs across the state (like Athens). I also appreciate that the author points out the battle for local ownership of energy grids in Colorado which has been happening in Ohio for decades, along with the expansion of aggregation for buyers to band together to purchase electricity at the community level. Those kinds of policies are allowing consumers more knowledge of real energy costs and to be actively engaged on issues of expanding renewables. All of these issues in the article show the need for citizen engagement to go beyond the voting booth and cooperatives of all kinds accelerate that action.
So as we discuss the needs for food work in our communities, let’s research and include ideas like cooperatives and worker-ownership right up front.

The Cooperative Economy | Orion Magazine.

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