Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Multi-stakeholder agricultural co-operatives and sustainability

Many rural communities in the US have undergone massive de-democratisations of their socio-economies; now variously populated with big-box stores, franchise chain developments, and acquisitions and subsidiarisations by regional, national, and transnational corporations. Mooney (2004) in Democratizing Rural Economy comments that agricultural co-operatives remain one of the few remaining economic forms in the agricultural and rural sectors that continues to bring democratic voice to rural economies. However, Mooney’s comment does not acknowledge a historic weakening of democratic aspects of agricultural co-operatives, given decades of intense competition with investment-oriented firms (IOFs). These pressures have created various dilemmas within co-operatives themselves, causing many to drift from their more democratic beginnings.

This essay will focus within the agricultural and rural spheres, agricultural co-operatives will be used as a point of reference and familiarisation. The essay will also explore how one: larger pressures of socioeconomic growth and expansion have dimmed some co-ops’ democratic promise; and two: how alternative co-operative forms; e.g., a co-op commonwealth, and multi-stakeholder co-ops, represent possible development models that are more inclusive, resilient, and better designed to accommodate various democratic and social, economic and ecological needs.

Read the rest at Innovation News Network


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.