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The atlantic cooperatives in New Brunswick


03 / 1993

The Atlantic Co-operatives, which are based primarily in New Brunswick,United States, grew from a community-based co-operative movement involved in areas such as fishing, foods, credit, and agriculture, among others. The organization is based on principles of ecological responsibility and direct, sustainable self-development. The members of the Co-op Atlantic want to create an economy based on cooperative production and distribution. To them, this means placing decision-making power directly in the hands of the people, the local communities. And at a deeper level, they feel it also entails rejecting the rules of the market which make us dependent on the State. The Co-op Atlantic therefore proposes to challenge the capitalist market and replace it by a fully co-operative economy consisting of a network of both producer and consumer co-operatives. As it happens, at the present time the co-operatives cannot survive without competing with private businesses, which results in a great deal of conflict within their structure and functioning. That is why the members of the Co-op Atlantic believe that a co-operative alternative to the market will have real meaning only when the co-operatives fully replace the market, so that there will be no more competition.The Co-op Atlantic involved in long-term educational projects to pave the way for the transition from a market economy to a co-operative economy. However, the group is well aware that the success of such a change depends on the full participation of the co-operative movements. Yet they remain optimistic. The attempt to totally transform a pyramidal structure into an experiment in community control is an arduous undertaking, and one which requires a great deal of energy. While much still remains to be done, the proposals of the Atlantic Co-op have generated interest, enthusiasm and hope in these areas. The environment is the most challenging area in which to effect change. The Co-op Atlantic has an ecology committee made up of experts who are trying to work out a plan for developing policies, programmes and projects which will raise public awareness of ecological priorities. They also want to pressure the government to establish workable, environmentally-responsible standards.

Key words

sustainable development, environment

, United states


colloque "Living with the Eart", May 1993


Colloquium, conference, seminar,… report


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