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Abstract

In a context of internationalisation and concentration, bio-foods co-operatives often face problems of capital access and governance. According to Spear (2001), limited access to capital, management structure, governance conflicts, and the local, regional or national focus of co-operatives limit their expansion. Recent events in Canada, such as Agricore going public and Dairyworld being absorbed by a corporation, have reinforced this perception (Thibault and Dupuis, 2003). In this evolving competitive environment, the traditional co-operative model cannot thrive and succeed if static. New hybrid co-operative models are emerging, and an analysis of these models should contribute to an understanding of the trade-off between co-operative values and other attributes necessary for survival in an increasingly competitive environment.

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