Business & Policy
FS Co-ops in Huron, Bruce, Wellington and Grey Counties work more closely together
By Top Crop Manager
The boards of directors for Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. (HBC) and North Wellington Co-operative Services (NWCS) have decided to bring forward a recommendation to its farmer-owners to implement a blending of the two co-ops through amalgamation that will better serve the co-operatives’ combined counties and regions.
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, NWCS 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, HBC 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,” Luckhardt says.
Both co-ops are shareholder-owners of Growmark Inc. and market products and services under the FS retail brand.
HBC 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-op provides products, services and expertise in agronomy, energy and feed as well as through its farm stores and garden centres.
NWCS 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.