River Market, Northern Vineyards, and Atticus Law Cooperative celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 with cross-country riders.
July 24, 2012 – The Co-Cycle cross-country bicycle tour is coming to Stillwater. Co-Cycle is a bike-powered tour of cooperatives across the United States with a mission to draw attention to cooperatives as economic, social, and ecological alternatives to conventional business models.
Several local co-ops, including River Market Community Co-op, Northern Vineyards Cooperative, and Atticus Law Cooperative, along with Co-cycle will celebrate this rich history of cooperative enterprises in Stillwater by hosting a party on Monday, July 30th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the River Market & Northern Vineyard co-ops. The celebration is free and open to the public.
Cooperatives are businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by their members—the people who buy the cooperative’s goods or use its services. They make decisions democratically and build the business as a shared resource.
Stillwater has a rich tradition and a thriving economy of cooperatives, including a 30+ year old food co-op, a beloved wine co-op, cooperative antique gallery, and a cooperative law firm.
David Nelson, a cooperative member at River Market in Stillwater, says “We’re excited to support Co-cycle. Every day, River Market works to demonstrate that cooperative enterprises build a better world. We not only sell local natural food but we work to improve the quality of life in our community through education about cooperatives, and donating to local groups. I hope the community joins us in celebrating a business model that puts people first, and supports this amazing undertaking of riding across country to raise awareness.”
The 3+ month tour began on June 1st in San Francisco and finishes in Amherst in early September. Along the way, riders are visiting consumer, housing, agricultural, worker-owned, and student-run cooperatives along with credit unions. They plan to connect with local cooperative networks, conduct research on cooperative models, and celebrate with host communities. Follow the route online at www.co-cycle.coop.
With co-op food, drink, and wine in River Market’s outdoor dining park and on the Vineyard’s deck overlooking the Saint Croix River, the celebration will include the festive socializing, Co-Cycle accounts from the road, stories of other co-ops along the tour, and door prizes. The celebration occurs on the Tour’s last night of a four-day visit to the Twin Cities region. It follows Co-Cycle events in Saint Paul on the 28th and Minneapolis on the 29th.
The trip is sponsored by the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the National Cooperative Business Association.
The Co-cycle tour is one of hundreds of events for the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, when the UN celebrates the theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” From the UN Secretary-General: “Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.”