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One of Canada’s largest co-ops celebrates milestone to kick off Co-op Week

By Daniel Jungwirth

October 15, 2018

From its start sourcing apples, twine and coal 90 years ago, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) has grown into a multi-billion-dollar co-operative partnering with local Co-ops to provide products and services to consumers.

In 90 years, sales have grown from $913,000 (1929) to $9.8 billion (2017). In the last five years, FCL has returned $2.2 billion to its local co-operative member-owners across Western Canada. FCL serves more than 170 local Co-ops in Western Canada, which in turn serve more than 1.9 million individual Co-op members in more than 580 communities.

“We are thankful for the vision, courage and hard work of our predecessors to overcome obstacles and help us to where we are today,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda.

“We can be proud to see how far we’ve come in building co-operatives across Western Canada, which is really about supporting and improving our local communities.”

Provincial co-operative wholesale societies were formed to supply and support fledgling local co-ops in the 1920s. Established on July 30, 1928, the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wholesale Society would grow and amalgamate with Consumers Co-operative Refinery Limited and three other provincial wholesales to form FCL.

Today, FCL’s business is centred primarily on four areas: agriculture energy, food and home and building supplies. Fuel production at the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in Regina, Sask., has grown to 5.8 billion litres in 2017 from 1.4 million gallons (5.3 million litres) in 1935 when the facility opened.