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Mar 21, 2011

Cooperatives Offer an Alternative By Emilio Godoy

by Monicac — last modified Mar 21, 2011 11:40 AM

MEXICO CITY, Mar 15, 2011 (IPS) - After years of decline, the cooperative movement in Mexico is reviving as a relatively safe haven from the shocks of the neoliberal free- market model of production and the financial and food crises that have affected the country.

"Cooperatives have had a positive impact on job creation, investment, education and health. They have helped drive community development," Juan Domínguez, general coordinator of the Cooperative of Advisers for Social Progress (SCAAS), which has worked with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) since 1990, told IPS.

Domínguez, a member of the National Network of Researchers and Educators in Cooperativism and Solidarity Economics, is the author of two research publications, the most recent of which is a 2007 book titled "Las cooperativas, polos de desarrollo regional en México" (Cooperatives: Poles of Regional Development in Mexico).

In 2005 a group of bean farmers in the northern state of Zacatecas formed a cooperative called "El Granero Nacional" (National Granary), a wholesale centre for agricultural supplies and comprehensive services, to facilitate storage and marketing.

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