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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Cooperatives create opportunity for small farms to thrive

Cala Farms and Agua Gorda are two of five Latino-led farms that have participated in Shared Ground Cooperative. Shared Ground, which operated out of the Twin Cities, assisted Rodrigo and Javier in finding some of their first markets by aggregating their products to sell larger quantities and a wider variety of products through different market streams such as retail and wholesale customers, local schools, and a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription.

“Unfortunately, Shared Ground closed at the end of 2021,” Justin said. “However, their farmers continue to thrive from the networks and markets they helped to establish, many continuing to sell as a group to the same wholesale customers.”

Working with others as a member of a cooperative is not always simple, Justin says.

“Cooperatives are made up of many different members, each with different views,” said Justin. “It can be difficult to come together to establish a common objective.”

Said Rodrigo, “If you can establish a transparent system where everyone’s ideas and complaints are heard, you can be successful.”

Read the rest at The Caledonia Argus


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