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= There are approximately 600 consumer co-operatives with 22,000,000 members in Japan
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'''= " an initiative of women who wanted to reform their lives and local communities, based on a democratic and sustainable food system".''' [http://www.arc2020.eu/japanese-consumer-co-operative-union/]
   
 
URL = http://www.seikatsuclub.org/english/index.html
 
URL = http://www.seikatsuclub.org/english/index.html
   
Pat Conaty writes: "They powerfully and practically link up the commons and the co-operative sectors in their day to day work."
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Context: There are approximately 600 consumer co-operatives with 22,000,000 members in Japan. "Today SEIKATSU counts 340.000 members, mainly from the 4 prefectures around Tokyo." Pat Conaty writes: "They powerfully and practically link up the commons and the co-operative sectors in their day to day work."
   
   
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The organisation is giving priority to develop exchanges and solidarity actions with
 
The organisation is giving priority to develop exchanges and solidarity actions with
 
similar organisations."
 
similar organisations."
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=Interview=
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Hannes Lorenzen: "an exclusive interview with one of the modern world’s true food heroes. We talk to Ryoko Shimizu, research fellow of the Japanese Consumer Co-Operative Union SEIKATSU." [http://www.arc2020.eu/japanese-consumer-co-operative-union/]
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'''* Hannes: Ryoko, your co-operative began almost 50 years ago. What were women back then concerned about when they founded the club?'''
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Ryoko:  In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Japanese economy grew very rapidly. People left their hometown to live in urban areas to find their jobs. At that time, most women quit their job after getting married. Women were isolated and trying to find ways to help each other in daily lives. They were in general well educated, had a lot of talents, but stayed at home and did not work outside. Their families were very isolated, many women felt lonely. Co-operatives were the natural way of overcoming that isolation and providing enough and safe food for all.
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'''* H. SEIKATSU has grown to an impressive size. What do members of the co-op have to contribute and what can they decide?'''
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R. The contribution in terms of fees is rather low, 1000 yen (7 euros) per month. But the influence on goals and management is high. Members define their own brand of products, which food items they wish to buy, processing, packaging and so on, this is all part of bottom-up decision-making. We have around 1700 items from basics like rice, eggs and milk, but also fresh fruit and vegetables fish, meat, and processed products.
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'''H. Who is managing all that? Do you have paid staff?'''
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R. We do have paid staff, but most of the members are not paid and still do a lot of voluntary work. However, the voluntary contribution is decreasing, as more and more women have a paid job now, and no time to contribute. But our strength still lies in our mutual aid business model. We conduct non-profit and co-operative business in local food systems, cooperation with farmers, but our role is also to do research on food quality, reduction of harmful substances, of food waste, promoting renewable energy and so on.."
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(http://www.arc2020.eu/japanese-consumer-co-operative-union/)
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=More Information=
 
=More Information=
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[[Category:Japan]]
 
[[Category:Japan]]
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[[Category:Agrifood]]

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