The solidarity economy aims to meet the needs of those who are
excluded from the money economy of big chains and transnational
corporations. It includes networks of small producers; worker-owned
and worker managed cooperatives; food coops; fair trade; local
currencies; and barter. At an international level ALBA (Bolivarian
Alternatives for the Americas) is barter between countries such as
Cuba and Venezuela. At the local level, it includes CSA (community
supported agriculture); farmers’ markets; regional fairs of small
producers; any participants in a local currency such as Ithaca Hours
in Ithaca, NY, USA or the Mexquite in Dolores Hidalgo, GTO, Mexico.
The Center for Global Justice supports such local efforts and thinks
that the solidarity economy can grow to fulfill the needs of many
billions of people around the world who are excluded from the formal
economy. Production should and can be organized for distribution
according to need rather than according to “effective demand,” i.e.
money, and production should and can be for need rather than profit.