Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Food Co-ops

Stephanie Pierce blogs at Ethicurean about food co-ops she and her husband saw driving across America. Some good generalizations there, but I think she misses the most important element to a good co-op: finding a structure and a niche which ensures survival over the medium term. There were lots of producer and consumer co-ops in the 1920's and 30's, and again in the 1960's, but history tells us most of them failed or were bought out. A single smart, persistent, hard working person can initiate a co-op, attracting enough others to make it work for a while, but it's very hard to institutionalize that into a continuing organization which can outlive the founder (or her enthusiasm).

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