Re-imagining Rural Cooperation in Atlantic Canada
Keywords:Agricultural Cooperatives, Cooperative Councils, Marketing Cooperatives, Supply Cooperatives, Service Cooperatives, Production Cooperatives, Traditional And New Cooperatives, Atlantic Canada
AbstractAs they struggle to be competitive in a global market economy, agricultural cooperatives in Atlantic Canada appear to be in overall decline, shrinking in both numbers and members. This strategic policy analysis looks at what new role the remaining agricultural cooperatives might play in a more regionalized marketplace. Using a mixed methods approach we gathered secondary data and interviewed key leaders and managers in the agricultural cooperative community in Atlantic Canada. Results suggest that while progress is being made to decommodify and develop new value-added products and regionally oriented supply chains, a transition to a more sustainable regional economic cooperative model is elusive and not likely to come about without a more localized rural cooperative system uniting all agricultural cooperatives, together with greater unity between the provincial cooperative councils.
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