Co-operation among two local co-ops

The boards of directors for Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. and North Wellington Co-operative Services have decided to bring forward a recommendation to its farmer-owners to implement a blending of the two co-ops through amalgamation.

It would to be to better serve the co-operatives’ combined counties and regions.

In a release, officials state the two agriculture-based co-ops are working on a strategy on how best to merge business operations, governance, finances, assets, departments, and markets to explore further opportunities that will strengthen their competitiveness and member-services.

“As co-operatives, and as neighbours, we already share a number of common goals. We exist to serve our members; we’re owned and controlled by the people we serve, and we strive to provide the best agricultural and rural services in our market territories,” says Tim Summers, North Wellington Co-operative Services president.

Together the two co-ops have a combined membership of more than 8,500 farmers and rural residents, and more than 75 years of experience serving Huron, Bruce, Wellington and Grey Counties.

“In today’s competitive climate, we feel it is prudent to explore our options to maintain and enhance our services to members and opportunities for employees while making the most of our resources,” says Sam Luckhardt, Huron Bay Co-operative president. “As we work toward developing a recommendation on how best to merge business operations, it is also clearly understood that final decisions are controlled and governed by the member-owners of the co-ops. At this time, we feel it is important to communicate this strategic direction outwardly and share the potential opportunities.”

Both co-operatives are shareholder-owners of GROWMARK, Inc. and market products and services under the FS retail brand.

Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. provides agricultural related products and services to its 2,500 members and to rural residents in the counties of Bruce, West Grey and North Huron. The co-operative provides products, services and expertise in agronomy, energy and feed as well as through its farm stores and garden centres.

North Wellington Co-operative Services provides agronomy, feed, consumer and energy products and services to more than 6,000 member customers and rural residents in north Wellington and south Grey and Bruce Counties from locations in Harriston, Mount Forest, Durham and Hanover.