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Celebrating 90 years

By Daniel Jungwirth

July 30, 2018

Today, we celebrate the beginnings of Federated Co-operatives Limited. FCL’s records indicate the Saskatchewan Wholesale Society was incorporated on July 30, 1928, becoming the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wholesale Society the following year by act of the provincial legislature.

FCL’s progression from its early beginnings to where it is 90 years later has not been a straight line. However, the principles on which it was founded remain the same.

Like many co-operatives, FCL started with a need. In the first quarter of the 20th century, co-operatives began to form in communities across Western Canada. After many early starts, retail co-operatives closed and growth reversed until they began to improve consumer knowledge of the co-operative model and work together, forming provincial wholesale societies.

FCL was created and grew over time as the four Western Canadian provincial wholesale societies amalgamated. The wholesales initially acted as buying agents on behalf of their member co-operatives, but would eventually build warehouses for inventory. The amalgamation with the Consumers Co-operative Refinery Limited (a co-operative formed by eight enterprising farmers who believed they could produce and distribute their own gas) further strengthened FCL.

Assets would be acquired and divested to suit the changing needs of what would become the Co-operative Retailing System. Today, FCL’s business is centred primarily on four areas: agriculture, energy, food and home and building supplies. Advancements in technology, innovation and practice have changed the way FCL does business; however, FCL remains focused on co-operative values and being relevant for its member-owner retail co-operatives and consumers for years to come.

More details on FCL's history can be found in the history timeline in Our Story.