A round-up of international news compiled by Anthony Murray
FARMERS in Indiana, Ohio and Michegan have launched the Great Lakes Co-operative, a new-generation, value added co-op that will process and market pork products for its members.
Last month, the co-op began selling stock to raise $8 million to build its $17m, 66,000 square foot packing plant near South Bend, Indiana.
To get started, the co-op received a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
? Co-operative Business Journal, USA
THE Co-operative Bank recorded Sh103 million (approx £ 860,050) profit for the 2002 financial year, up from a loss of Sh651 million (approx £ 5.4m) in 2001.
At the same time, the bank announced a reduction in its base lending rate from 15 per cent to 13 per cent per annum effective April 1 2003.
Gideon Muriuki, the bank's managing director, said stringent measures undertaken included aggressive cost-cutting measures, business growth through non-funded income streams, restructuring and debt recovery.
? East African Standard, Kenya, Africa
LAST month the FÃ©dÃ©ration des Caisses populaires acadiennes warmly received the New Brunswick government's announced intention to consider authorising the sale of car insurance by the province's caisses populaires and credit unions.
The announcement by Justice minister Brad Green took the credit union movement by surprise.
Gilles Lepage, president and CEO of the Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes, says that this interest from Fredericton is nothing but good news. "The caisses populaires acadiennes are very happy with the government's interest in the credit union system.
`They apparently see it as a viable alternative in response to the public's need in the area of car insurance," he says.
? The Atlantic Co-operator, Canada
DAIRY Farmers believes the time is right to make a third attempt at restructuring the co-operative, a move that could lead to a sharemarket float.
Managing director Calvin Boyle was optimistic the new plan would address the concerns of the farmers who banded together to defeat the last proposal in 2001.
The latest plan would involve hiving off the production and marketing assets from the pure co-operative part of the business, which purchases milk from farmers.
The production business, which would house brands such as Dairy Farmers milk, Coon cheese and Oak flavoured milk, may be floated on the sharemarket, joining National Foods as the country's only listed dairy groups.
? Sydney Morning Herald, Australia