Many moons ago, our agricultural sector operated in a co-operative manner, the local organisation that bought and sold the local farmers produce, milk, beef, grain & arable were owned by the farmers themselves. This model changed to reflect the increased competitive pressures facing the industry, and like a whale gobbling up the sprats, this occurred in the agri sector. We now have several multinational players here, Glanbia, Kerrygold, and others who grew out of these co-op’s.
Perhaps we may return to this again, we are now looking at how local our produce is, the number of air miles it took to reach our shelves, where does the till money finally end up, in our local economy supporting jobs or into foreign banks.
Is the co-operative business model the opposite of the capitalist existing models, I don’t believe so, they both support jobs, are profitable, buy ‘local’. The only concern is on the long term employment that they can generate and the development and innovative opportunities that it may bring to the local economy.
Alternative Business Models Needed (Irish Examiner Newspaper)