the Heirloom Project is forming a *multi-stakeholder cooperative in downtown Missoula. We are developing a unique model for a community-scale marketplace that will supply access to local, regional and nutrient-dense farm-fresh fare. We seek to educate, empower and engage community members toward the benefits of traditional foods and their preparation, time-honored healing arts and modern homemaking skills. the Heirloom Project will promote accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, nutritionally-prepared parenting and holistic therapies. The Cornerstones of our business will be Community-Based, with a Downtown Location providing Traditional Foods (Real/Slow) through a Multi-Stakeholder Cooperative Business Model that supports a Slow Money Economy.
Long before the Occupy movement sparked renewed protest of rising inequality, another global movement was quietly engaged in building a more democratic economy. From coffee growers in Kenya seeking a fair market price to worker-owned green businesses reviving the American Rust Belt, cooperatives are helping to spur a reinvention of work in a period of worldwide recession.
Globally, an estimated 1 billion people are members of cooperatives, and many believe that the scope of worker- and member-owned enterprises across the world represents a revolution already in the making. With combined earnings rivaling Canada’s GDP, co-ops could be the fastest-growing business model by the end of the decade. To promote awareness of their potential, the United Nations has declared 2012 the “International Year of Cooperatives.” Cooperative organizers, though they have generally worked on a separate track from protest movements, have called on Occupy and other mass movements to help build “an economy worth occupying.”
What happens next in the economy – the nation’s, the state’s, and Seattle’s – no longer lies in the hands of Capitol Hill politicians, the Federal Reserve, or even the boards of companies like Microsoft and Starbucks.
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