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Improved rail system to help FCL serve farm customers

By Dan Yates

May 25, 2018

In support of building a strong agriculture economy in Western Canada, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) welcomes the passage of the Transportation Modernization Act.

In part, the Act aims to improve access, transparency, efficiency and long-term investment in the freight rail system.

“Having a reliable and effective rail transportation system will help us grow the Co-operative Retailing System’s (CRS) agriculture business, which in turn helps the overall economy in Western Canada,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda.

“With an improved rail system, FCL and the CRS will continue to enhance our ability to deliver petroleum and agricultural inputs to farm customers and the communities we serve.”

The news is especially welcome because the CRS, which includes FCL and more than 180 local co-operative businesses, is a major supplier of fuel, crop inputs and feed to Western Canadian producers. In 2017, the Regina-based Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) supplied 5.8 billion litres of gasoline and diesel to fuel Western Canada, with a significant portion going to farm customers. A fleet of 213 petroleum tankers distributes this fuel to 478 gas bars, 389 cardlock locations and 151 bulk fuel locations—local co-operatives then deliver fuel directly to their farm customers.

This distribution network is also supported by FCL’s Carseland Terminal in Alberta. Opened in 2015, the state-of-the-art fuel storage facility receives petroleum by rail from the CRC, enabling FCL to better supply local co-ops in Alberta and British Columbia during peak seeding and harvest seasons.

FCL’s fertilizer terminals in Hanley, Sask., and Brandon, Man., also receive bulk product by rail, which is then distributed to retail co-ops and their farm customers.