Worker cooperatives (co-ops) are cooperatives or trade unions owned and self-managed by its workers. They first started to form during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s as part of the labor movement, which saw a lot of manual work being made redundant. Workers cooperative emerged as a “critical reaction to industrial capitalism and the excesses of the industrial revolution.”
Ironically, it was a capitalist that is considered as the father of the cooperative movement. Robert Owen, who had made money in cotton trade, believed in getting his workers and their children in a good environment with access to education. He had a vision of “villages of co-operation” where people could live and work in a decent environment and share the profits of their labors. In the 1820s he even invested a lot of his money in an experimental socialistic community in America at New Harmony, Indiana. Could this be considered a pre-runner of the now popular impact investment?
Although this preliminary model for an Owen’s utopian society failed as well as other Owenite utopian communities, cooperatives started to emerge in the 1830s and became more workable and practical with the realization that co-ops needed to start small with the working class setting up co-operatives for themselves.
Nowadays worker cooperatives – even though there is no universally accepted definition – are considered to be businesses that make a product, or offer a service, to sell for profit, in which the workers are members or worker-owners, who work in, govern and manage the business. Decision-making power and ultimate authority of a worker cooperative lies solely with the worker-owners. Worker-owners control the resources of the cooperative and the work process, such as wages or hours of work.
Today worker co-operations are well established in most countries in Europe, mainly in Italy, Spain, France, the UK and Germany. However, the world’s largest worker co-op is in India and Venezuela used to be home to the most vibrant cooperative movement (but who knows what the economic and political crisis did to them).
Below are some forms of worker-owner examples that have been established not only focusing on the social but also the environmental aspect.
Community Supported Vegan Permaculture (CSVP)
It consists of advancing part of the payment of the harvest to the farmer and sharing the risks and the benefits of the result of the harvest.
“Food offers us many opportunities to resist the culture of mass marketing and commodification. Though consumer action can take many creative and powerful forms, we do not have to be reduced to the role of consumers selecting from seductive convenience items. We can merge appetite with activism and choose to involve ourselves in food as co-creators.”Sandor Ellix Katz, “The Art of Fermentation“
Read more on this other section of The Noble Peace Tribe website:
Edible Urban/Rural Forests
A mix of fruit trees—cherry, peach and pear among them (variable depending on the zone, altitude, humidity, rainfall, weather…)—and interspersed perennial flowering shrubs and fruit-producing plants, including blueberry bushes, that also help to feed birds, honeybees and butterflies.
Design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.
Carrying out outreach actions for the surrounding community to improve public health by regenerating our public land into an edible forest ecosystem. We will work to reduce agricultural climate impact, improve our local food security, provide educational opportunities, and celebrate growing food for the benefit of all species.
Read more on this other section of The Noble Peace Tribe website:
Edible Fruit Forests
SOURCE: Beacon Food Forest https://beaconfoodforest.org
Providing all the necessary supplies to allow 100 fruit trees to be planted in [your neighbourhood] on privately-owned front lawns with signs that invite the passerby to enjoy fruit.
1,000 Fruit Trees
Interested people fill out an online form on a website to order fruit tree(s), pay for their fruit tree(s), and then we bring the tree(s) to the homes of the participants and plant it.
Some day future generations will enjoy the literal fruits of his labor. “In order for the children of today to have abundance when they mature tomorrow, we need to have fruit trees planted today that will also become mature tomorrow,” says Macon. “The trees will feed them and their children. This project is about the continuity of life and about connecting to the sources of our food and to nature.”
100+ fruit trees will be given away to private land owners who agree to plant & nurture trees, as well as share the harvest with neighbours.
We are considering the future generations with our actions. When we plant a tree it will become fruit that feeds a Time beyond our own.
We are soliciting donations for those who simply wish to give to the success of this project and if you wish to receive a fruit tree indicate so in the reward options. Our clear goal is to plant 1,000 fruit trees in and around our common area.
How we plan to use the Contributions?
All money raised will go towards fruit trees going into the ground. There will be a living wage offered to those who plant the trees, in order to create right livelihood.
I invite you to close your eyes and gaze upon a scene where are young child is happily snacking on fruits from a tree right up above them. These are the Visions that inspire this project, thank you for your support.
VEGAN Consumer and Producer Cooperative (Association)
It is more than a “price club”. It collectivize the Noble Peace Tribe’s consumption, by producing, exchanging and buying directly from producers and rural communities.
It caters to organized groups (tribes) that make purchases in common; and transform products with supplies offered by their suppliers.
Friends and family members – many of them involved in issues of food sovereignty – gather together to organize buys of healthy produce and goods at affordable prices, and create a collective savings fund for this purpose.
Having a food co-op that’s available to non-residents helps grow the extended community, the strength of which is good indicator of the health of a community.
Promotes collaborative decision making and collaborative working.
A very particular function is to review the quality of each new item before purchasing it and makes the proposals of products that are integrated to the stock; so the cooperative members can know where these come from and what environmental or social values they are endorsing with the collective purchases.
Anyone can join the cooperative, accept the principles and give an annual fee. Although most of the members live in the unit, there are also cooperative members from neighborhoods and nearby units, and the odd one who comes from farther away.
Seed conservation and preservation for a diverse environment and nutrient rich diets
Bike Culture and Community Bike Resources
Support activism in the nearby city/town, particularly helping foster to bike culture and community bike resources.
Encourage owner-builder experiences (ecological bioconstructions). Read: Transcend Economy