Co-Ops: A Modest Proposal

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Moreover, Rice has rolled out a proposal to protect at least some of the co-ops that could suffer under an expanded system that includes corporations and plantations. It’s called Co-op Link, and the goal, he says, is to fortify some of the larger coopera- tives—the ones that are likely to sell beans to Green Mountain, Starbucks and Costco. Several of these projects are under way in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and over the past five years, Rice has assembled powerful institutional actors to co-sponsor them: the US Agency for International Development, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Kellogg Foundation, the World Bank and Walmart. But what about the 300-plus farmer co-ops that are not a part of his Co-op Link scheme? Rice doesn’t say,

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