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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Behind The Scenes At Three Coffee Roasting Cooperatives

There is something undeniable happening when it comes to coffee and labor in the United States. But one size does not fit all. In the same year as a burgeoning worker uprising movement, a handful of coffee businesses around the country were exploring an alternative approach: converting to a worker-owned model. There’s a subtle but significant difference between a company having a union, and a company being worker-owned; both unions and cooperatives are examples of collectivity, where you are stronger as a group than as an individual, but the practical reality of these modes of operation look totally distinct.

You can certainly open a business as a cooperative, like many do, but another option is to convert an existing one to a cooperative model. The process sounds a little daunting so I talked to three coffee cooperatives who recently and successfully converted. They gave me a behind-the-scenes look at their conversion processes and also shared some insightful tips for those who want to explore this.

Read the rest at Sprudge


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