A round-up of international news . . .
THE Eco-Lumber Co-op received a strong launch when joined by building design, construction and logging professionals to praise the new green initiative, funded jointly by conservation groups and social-leaning financial institutions.
The co-op not only stocks eco-friendly forest products but its backers hope the Richmond showroom will be a visible pressure point on British Columbia's large forest companies pushing them towards more eco-certified products and practices.
? Vancouver Sun,Â Canada
Wine co-op acquired
H. Mounier, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the co-operative Unicoop, has taken a 67 per cent stake in Bordeaux wine trader CalvetÂ
Based in the Cognac region, H. Mounier has acquired the stake from four investment groups, which included 3i.
Calvet Chairman Jack Drounau will retain his post and remain a minority shareholder. The company, which has an established position in the UK and Japan, employs around 100 staff and posted a 2002 turnover of ?38 million.
? Just Drinks, France
Senator Tom Daschle announced that the US Department of Agriculture has awarded a $61 million loan to help fund the Rapid City Tie Project, which is underway south of Rapid City.
Basin Electric Power Co-operative, which has a 65 per cent ownership of the project, will receive $45.5 million in loan funding, with the remainder of the loan being used for other miscellaneous transmission projects in the area.
The Rapid City Tie Project will link the Eastern and Western electrical transmission systems that serve most of the United States. Rapid City is on the Western power grid, and New Underwood, 20 miles to the east of Rapid City, is on the Eastern grid.
? Rapid City Journal,Â USA
The Government has begun an inquiry into the Tigania Farmers Co-operative, said Co-operative Development Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth, answering a question by Tigania East MP Peter Munya who sought to know the total assets of the society when it was liquidated.
The total value of assets was Sh20.9 million (£ 170,000), with the amount realised from their sale Sh8.8 million (£ 70,000). Splinter societies of employees now working in the respective factories will be registered as full co-ops.
? The East African Standard
Golden goal launched
Co-op Islami, the Gulf supplier of Halal meat, has launched a programme called ?Golden Goal' for its employees, as part of a strategy to motivate staff and become a major international player.
Co-op Islami Managing Director, Saleh Saeed Lootah announced the programme at a seminar in Dubai for its employees, at which Assistant General Manager Saleh Abdullah Lootah stressed that it was logical that changes first take place within the company. He said: "We have to change because the market is competitive and is demanding better services and better quality."
? AME,Â United Arab EmiratesÂ