As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the encroaching effects of climate change, people are waking to the realization that our greatest strength in times of trouble is to work together in a cooperative manner. Governments, even well meaning ones, cannot be depended on to support communities in times of need or to uplift and support communities to help them grow and prosper.
With the renewed interest in local foods and in building stronger local economies, cooperatives have regained some traction as viable, socially just methods of conducting business. Many people know about agricultural cooperatives where farmers come together to purchase supplies, help each other out on the farms and cooperatively sell their crops. But enthusiasm for creating other cooperatives such as financial services cooperatives like credit unions has also been growing as a response to abuses by large corporate entities.
In this episode of the Sustainable AG Rider, we speak with Eric Simpson of the West Georgia Farmers Market and Matthew Epperson, Executive Director of the Georgia Cooperative Development Center about cooperatives in the age of COVID