i4 eJournal

i4 is about crafting creative, democratic, and sustainable economies in this century of unprecedented challenge. Climate change, environmental degradation, and the disappearance of cheap fossil fuels throw into doubt most of the assumptions on which our communities are built. i4 reports how people here in Canada and around the world are rising to that challenge: how we are Inspiring, Innovating, Inciting, and Inventing ways of life and work that permit both humanity and the planet to thrive.

Think of i4 as a collective network of experience, analysis, and critical reflection. Every 2-3 weeks, it supplies you with Feature Articles by people engaged in strengthening community resilience and transforming local and regional economies: social entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers, activists, municipal and regional officials, business owners, managers, planners, thinkers, organizers. Just as CCCR's magazine Making Waves did (1990-2010), they’ll give you the straight goods, in French or in English: what’s happening, what’s working, what isn’t, why – and what’s next.

In addition, i4 publishes brief news stories or Gateways to help you connect quickly with the Feature Articles and other valuable resources on the same topic. Our ebulletin, Insight, will alert you to these and other important developments in community transition and resilience.

Another Recent Gateway:

 
January 8, 2016  |  Mike Lewis

A Decentralized, Democratic Movement that is Transforming Japan's Food System

“Seikatsu" means “living people.” The significance of this for members of Japan's Seikatsu Consumer Co-operative is a down-to-earth story of transformation in process. The cooperative's humble beginnings involved women sitting together at kitchen tables talking about food. Some disturbing trends in their region bothered them - an increase in imported foods, the consistent loss of farmland to development, and the accelerating migration of farmers to the cities. They were also worried about the quality and safety of their food, a concern closer to their kitchens that was deeply rooted in the privation so many suffered in the post-war years. Hunger from the period marked the consciousness of a broad swath of the population. It was from this fertile ground that cooperatives grew, aided by the introduction of legislation in 1948 and the rapid formation of the Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union in 1951.

In 1965, a group of women approached a local farm family with an idea to address the issues of concern to them. The essence of their proposal was that the farmer would provide their families with fresh milk, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and the families would guarantee to pay a negotiated fair price. The farmer agreed so long as they organized a large enough number of people willing to commit to purchasing the farm's production. A contract was drawn and the teikei concept was born. Translated literally, teikei means "...


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