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David Asher has been a member of CCEC since 2007 which is also the time he has been sharing his knowledge on the culture of cheese. David takes a political stance against Big Dairy and criticizes both standard industrial and artisanal cheesemaking practices.  He encourages us to source good raw milk, promotes the use of ethical animal rennet, protests the use of laboratory-grown freeze-dried cultures, and explores how GMO technology is creeping into our cheese. 

Why I belong to CCEC:  I joined to keep my money in my community, and  to divest from the corporate investments that underpin the conventional banking system.  Its such a comfortable place for me to bank, and I cherish the rare opportunity to visit when I come to Vancouver from the Gulf Islands.   And it’s so respectable too; what other banks send out emails with the statement.

David just published his book, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, and is currently on a North American tour to network, share his knowledge and to educate us on how to "take back our cheese".  So, what does that mean?

Over 10 years ago, while studying at UBC and volunteering at UBC farm, David decided to become a farmer.  He visited a co-operative farm in the Fraser Valley where he had his first taste of a homemade cheese, made by the farm manager with her raw goats milk. He says that tasting the amazing cheeses aged in her own cave provided the spark for him to try cheesemaking at home.  However, as his milk bills started going through the roof, he decided it was time to leave the city and find a cow.

It was at Varalaya farm on Mayne Island (with his farming mentor Ron Pither, founding member of CCEC) that he did his first organic farming apprenticeship, and had his first taste of raw milk.  He got his own goats and kept them in community  as everything is better in community.  He says that the fresh raw milk made all the difference to the natural cheeses, which just don't work right with overprocessed and pasteurized milk. 

The realization that raw milk was most suited to cheesemaking gave him a sense that maybe raw milk is better for us than your average store bought milk. and restrictions on its sale take away consumers rights to choose the most healthy and nourishing foods they could eat.  

Asher's Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking is a traveling cheese school that offers workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations and communities.  He feels that these groups are reconnecting people to the food, the farmers and the land that sustain them.  They bring folks together round the dining table, and educate and empower consumers to make more sustainable food choices, and The Black Sheep School's educational offerings fit right in with their directives.  Together, they are helping to build a stronger and more just food system.  

David is an advocate for consumer access to good raw milk.  He feels that better access to raw milk will help improve our cheesemaking culture. He says, "We just don't make cheese as part of our culture here in North America, and this is in large part due to systemic fear of raw milk, and limits on its access."  Raw milk makes a more simple cheesemaking, and a more delicious cheese, and as we learn to work with it safely, people will realize that making home-made dairy products is entirely possible.  

David is on a North American cheese tour promoting his book with the help of his publishers, Chelsea Green.  He is very excited to share his cheesemaking message with the world, and when he returns wants to set up his Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking on the Gulf Islands.

For more information and to buy his book, click here for the Chelsea Green publishers or visit Amazon.

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Thank you to Councilor (and CCEC Member) Andrea Reimer who presented the Credit Union Day Proclamation signed by the City to Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager, CCEC.  In attendance at the event, which was part of our Annual Pancake Breakfast was BC Co-op  Association Executive Director, Carol Murray and Sherese Johnson, Engagement Coordinator; and CCEC Board Members Tammy Lea Meyer and Marty Frost. 

Ingredients for our pancake breakfast purchased from East End Food Co-op featuring  products produced by co-ops.  

 
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Join us as we celebrate Co-op Week, October 13-19. There are lots of activities planned to learn more about the co-operative movement and how co-ops contribute to our local economy and to the betterment of our community. Click here for more information on the BC Co-op Association Website.  

 

Thursday, October 16 - Credit Union Day!  CCEC's Annual Pancake Breakfast
Join us at the branch as we host our annual pancake breakfast from 10am-12nn.  Pancake flippers include your CCEC Board Members and BCCA staff.  I Choose Co-op T-Shirts will be on sale. 

Other events in the CCEC Neighbourhood on Wednesday October 15

BBQ in  Grandview Park hosted by the BCCA and the Co-operators
Location: Grandview Park, Commercial & Charles St. 
Time: 11 am to 2 pm

Co-ops & The Social Economy Workshop
Location: Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
220 - 1651 Commercial Drive
Time: 3 pm to 4:30 pm
As part of the BCCA’s Momentum Centre: The resource hub for new, emerging and established co-ops, this FREE workshop will explore co-operative solutions to social and environmental issues.

 


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Vote for Glorious Organics Co-operative to win $25,000 in the National Co-op Challenge.  Fraser Common Farm, CCEC Member, is a community farm of which Glorious Organics is the farming co-operative.  The Farm has been cooperatively owned and managed for more than 30 years.

Go to the Voting page   and sign up to receive voting reminders.  Help them to win $25,000 that will be used to build a new education centre.  

Fraser Common Farm offers a unique balance of food production, habitat conservation, communal & individual housing, and a sincere desire for long term sustainability – this is a social and community experiment, a work in progress, and a dream come true.   They care about the food they grow, and the land upon which they live. They have composting toilets throughout the farm and in some of their homes. They grow organic food – including pre-cut salads, vegetables, culinary herbs, edible flowers, and some fruit. And the food tastes really great.

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Save the Dates:   International Credit Union Day is October 16 and Co-op Week is October 13-19.

 

 

The year’s message is,

“Local Jobs and Services. Global Good.”

Canadian credit unions have a long history of supporting their communities, which collectively contributes to greater global good. Credit unions have had great success in doing business this way and this is evidenced by our growing membership regionally, nationally and globally.

THINK Co-operative!  


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CoopZone On-line Training Program 2014-15

Information Webinar, August 15:  9am PDT. RSVP to Hazel Corcoran hazel@canadianworker.coop

CoopZone offers co-op development trainingIntroduction to Co-op Development course, the Foundation Program, and  the Advanced Program.  

Introduction to Co-op (late October through March) provides an understanding of the types and roles of co-operatives and the basic co-op development process; this is the course for staff at co-operatives & co-operative associations. The higher level courses are aimed at those who wish to learn how to help others start co-operatives.  

The Foundation Program, is for those who may become co-op development consultants or work in the early stages of development.

The Advanced Program  (Years 1 and 2) for those who wish to become active developers and provide full-scale services around business development, group development, etc.  All of these on-line courses are designed to fit around a full-time job. 

For more information email the Course Director Peter Hough, training@coopzone.coop.

Click here to find brochures and applications for download: http://www.coopzone.coop/Courses

www.canadianworker.coop

www.coopzone.coop

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Recent European research confirms an implicit strength of the credit union, or co-op, ownership model for a financial services intermediary.  In essence, the basic saving and loan paradigm of a credit union insulates credit unions from many of the larger risks that have gripped large banks. Credit unions do not speculate in aggregated 'financial' risks.    Consumer ownership, as opposed to investor ownership, has proven to be less fickle, and committed to local needs.  For a good overview check out this article at thenews.coop, or you can read the paper, Resilience in a downturn, The power of financial cooperatives.

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Credit unions in BC are, along with many other financial institutions, subject to added scrutiny as a result of the 2008 banking crisis. Good "Governance" is a subject of particular interest.  The BC regulator, FICOM, has proposed a new guideline for credit union governance in the recent past and invited comment from credit unions. 

CCEC's submission champions open democratic practices. One key issue is whether Boards should include 'professionals' who may better understand the risks in financial institutions. The regulator proposes that credit unions have more professionals sitting as directors. This is distinctly at odds with open democratic elections and member control. The CCEC position disputes the proposals on principal, but also on conceptual grounds; indeed, boards made of lay people have not proven themselves to be less prudent.  On the other side, the Board's of the large US banks that failed in 2008/2009 were filled with 'professionals'.

CCEC does not believe that lay people are less able to provide direction to community organizations, and indeed they provide a comprehensive linkage to the community and knowledge of our membership that is invaluable. 

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