Centre Update
APRIL 2014

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Saskatoon – April 25, 2014

Join us for a great half day of learning and networking!

The sharing economy, which finds its origins in the co-operative movement, has succeeded in drawing the attention of a new generation looking for more meaningful ways to build community and connect with each other in the marketplace. Presenters will profile new models of co-operative consumption (like car sharing and co-working spaces), along with long-established collaborative businesses (like credit unions and retail co-ops).

Come to Co-operative Consumption and the Rise of the Sharing Economy to share your experiences, learn about new models, and explore opportunities to develop and support a sharing economy in Saskatchewan. This is a chance to exchange ideas and information with the legends of sharing and collaboration and the innovators and developers of Saskatchewan’s latest sharing-economy initiatives.

Co-operative Consumption
and the Rise of the Sharing Economy

Friday, April 25, 2014
11:30 am to 5:00 pm
Station 20 West, 1120 20th Street West, Saskatoon

Lunch provided

Cost: $20, GST included


To register and to see the program, please go to the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association website.


The International Summit of Cooperatives Presents Agri-Food Industry Experts

Quebec, April 2, 2014 — With the United Nations declaring 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives will bring together experts, researchers, and decision makers from the cooperative world and civil society to discuss how cooperative enterprises help ensure global food security.

Cooperatives are key actors in food security, with almost 40 percent of cooperatives worldwide working in the agricultural or agri-food industry and more than 50 percent of the planet’s inhabitants depending on cooperatives for their livelihood. Today, the Summit is unveiling the names of the experts who will present the results of socio-economic studies and take part in panels. The research presented at the 2014 Summit will address pressing food security issues, including boosting productivity, strengthening competitive advantages, securing the supply chain, and reducing speculation.

Feeding 9 billion people by 2050

A round table dedicated to the challenge of “Feeding 9 billion people by 2050: Idealism vs. Realism” will bring together a number of internationally renowned speakers to highlight the alternatives proposed by cooperative enterprises for reducing food insecurity, decreasing speculation, and supporting the food supply over the long term. Leading figures in the field have accepted the invitation to join this round table and share their expertise.

View the full program on the theme of Food Security and read about the speakers who will be presenting.

Notice to Students

Norm Bromberger Research Bursary of $2,000

Applications due June 30, 2014

 The Norm Bromberger Research Bursary was established in recognition of the outstanding contributions made by Norm Bromberger to the development of credit unions and co-operatives in Saskatchewan and across Canada. Bromberger was research director and the chief executive officer of Credit Union Central, with a total of 27 years of service within Saskatchewan's credit union system. The bursary encourages research in the area of co-operatives and credit unions.

Find details about the bursary and download the application form here.

Centre for the Study of Co-operatives



The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan has maintained a library in its offices since its inception 30 years ago. In the fall of 2013, the decision was made to merge our library with the University of Saskatchewan Library and to physically move our collection there, where it will be housed as a special collection. In the process, we are finding that many titles are duplicated, often with multiple copies. This leaves us with many excellent books, most in very good condition, and we would like to see them go to good homes.
In order to allow people all over the world to obtain the excess books, we have created a website where photographs and title listings are being made available regularly. The books are free of charge except in cases where shipping costs might be necessary. Please note that priority will be given to people associated with the Centre. Complete instructions for requesting books are available on the website.
Below are 2 examples of what you'll see on our FREE BOOKS website. We look forward to receiving your requests. Keep watching the website to see new titles being added.

Watch future newsletters for more news about the library move and how you will be able to access the collection through our website and at its new physical location.

Featured Publication

We have recently published a new title in our Occasional Paper Series: Historical Retrospective on the Conversion and Multinationalization of Dakota Growers Pasta Company: A Critical Discourse Analysis, by Thomas W. Gray, Curt Stofferahn, and Patricia C. Hipple, 2014 (112 pages).


This report provides a ten-year retrospective on Dakota Growers Pasta Company — its conversion from a new generation cooperative to an investment firm in 2002, its subsequent acquisition in 2010 by Viterra, a Canadian multinational corporation, followed by Viterra’s acquisition by a global, European-based, multinational firm in 2012. The original vote for conversion surprised many in a state with a long tradition of supporting cooperatives. Results of a critical discourse analysis of the conversion debate describe the conditions, arguments, and discursive strategies that influenced the decision.

The authors re-examined personal interviews in 2007 to parse out the postconversion reactions of former members (qua investors). Following a summary of lessons learned, the report provides recommendations for offsetting future initiatives seeking to convert cooperatives to investor-owned firms.

Download the pdf here.
To purchase this publication ($15), please contact our office.

Browse all of our Centre Publications here.

Centre Digitization Project

Featured Digitized Artifacts

If you thought photographs and documents were the only things we can digitize, prepare to be amazed! We can also digitize "flatish" memorabilia such as the ones pictured here. Do you remember any of these? Perhaps you have them — or something like them — rattling around in a drawer somewhere.

These are just a few examples of what you will find in the co-op and credit union artifact display cabinets in our office area. Our plan is to photograph the rest of the collection and make it available for viewing online as well. It includes many items, including piggy banks, key chains, hats, aprons, bottles, tins, mugs, jewellery, scarves, ribbons, pins, pens, spoons, playing cards, salt and pepper shakers, matches, golf balls, yoyos, and even a co-op emblazoned bridle worn by the horses that pulled the co-op dairy delivery wagons.

See these and more historical co-op photographs and memorabilia at Saskatchewan History Online — The Co-op Collection. Even better, we invite you to visit our offices and see our artifact collection. Perhaps you have something you would like to donate.

I think someone should try to claim a free coffee with that wooden token.

Also see our  page where you will find interesting co-op and credit union images and links from around the world.

In February, Marc Schneiberg presented a seminar at the Centre and took some time to spend with faculty and staff. Here he is with Centre Fellow Dionne Pohler.
Thank you to our sponsors!
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