International news: Co-ops falling apart

THE state&#039s largest dairy co-operatives don&#039t have much faith that a trade group can persuade 70 percent of farmers nationwide to approve a program aimed at reducing the...

THE state&#039s largest dairy co-operatives don&#039t have much faith that a trade group can persuade 70 percent of farmers nationwide to approve a program aimed at reducing the U.S. milk supply and improving dairy prices.
Fairfield dairy farmer Harold Howrigan, who represents the St. Albans Co-operative Creamery on the federation board, said he was frustrated during the conference call involving the federation&#039s 44 members.
The National Milk Producers Federation board of directors approved a modified "Co-operatives Working Together" programme and a final vote will be held at the federation&#039s regularly scheduled board meeting next week, said Chris Galen, vice president of communications for the group.
"I suppose it&#039s better than nothing but it was very, very disappointing," Howrigan said of the revisions. "I thought we had some unity with our co-operatives that was going to get something done, and it just fell apart."

? Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Vermont, USA

Babysitting Co-op
Bloomington Babysitting Co-operative, a group of about 30 families that share child-care responsibilities with other members, is seeking new members.
Members use the co-op for day or night sits. Prospective members must be residents of Bloomington, provide two references and must use the co-op at least once a month. The co-op is not able to accept single-parent families at this time.

? Minnesota Sun Publications, USA

Members&#039 windfall
UP to 22,000 members of the Co-op are to receive NIS 40,000 (&#163 5,570) each from the the sale its main asset, which was sold to the Weissman-Bronfman group for NIS 1.37 billion. (&#163 0.9bn) Co-op Blue Square Consumer Co-operative Society signed an agreement with the Israel Postal Authority to deposit the proceeds from the society&#039s shares in post offices around Israel, Co-op general manager Doron Cohen reported.
Under the agreement, Co-op members and heirs will be able to obtain an advance on the total proceeds from Co-op&#039s assets at any post office branch. The payment will be through a bank check, to be issued by the Postal Bank to anyone presenting an ID card, and found to be entitled, according to the members&#039 registry, as approved by the registrar of co-operative societies.
The Israel Postal Authority has committed itself to completing its preparations for the payments within 45 days, which means that payments can begin in August. 22,000 members, of whom 10,000 are heirs, are expected to receive NIS 40,000 net each, after Co-op arranged with the tax authorities for the deduction of 18-20 per cent withholding tax.

? Globes, Israel

Chief pockets cash
THE former chief executive officer of NTUC Choice Homes, Lim Geok Hwee, was brought before a district court yesterday and charged with pocketing over $1.3 million from the property development co-operative.
Lim, 41, the subject of an anti-graft probe earlier this year, is said to have transferred money from the company&#039s account on about 60 occasions between April last year and January this year.
The divorced man now faces 59 charges of committing criminal breach of trust as an employee of the cooperative run by the National Trades Union Congress. If convicted, he could be jailed up to seven years and fined.
The government overseas merit scholarship holder and former officer in the administrative service is accused of taking amounts from $2,000 (&#163 683) to $80,000 (&#163 27,000).

? Straits Times, Singapore

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