Federated Co-operatives Limited

BC Co-op Membership Profile |

Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is a
multifaceted enterprise based on the fundamental principles of
co-operation. FCL provides central marketing services including
manufacturing, wholesaling and distribution, as well as administrative
services to its member-owners… approximately 270 retail co-operatives
located throughout Western Canada. These retail co-operatives and their
branches operate in more than 500 communities, providing a variety of
products and services to more than 1,300,000 individual co-op members.
Together, FCL and its member retail co-operatives are united as the
Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), providing employment for more than
18,000 people. In addition to the retail co-operatives, FCL has 20
affiliate and associate members.

The
CRS began in 1928 when locally owned retail co-operatives worked
together to form provincial wholesales in order to expand their buying
power. Over time, co-operative wholesales in the four western
provinces, along with Consumers’ Co-operative Refineries Limited
(CCRL), joined together to form Federated Co-operatives Limited (the
last merger occurred in 1970).

Today, FCL is the largest non-financial co-operative
in the country. The National Post Business Magazine’s ranking of
Canada’s top 500 corporations ranked FCL’s 2007 net income 55th overall
and sales ranked 70th overall. In addition, the Saskatchewan Business
Magazine’s ranking of the province’s top 100 companies ranked FCL first
based on its 2006 sales.

FCL’s
operating divisions consist of: Agro Products, Consumer Products &
Logistics, Corporate & Legal Affairs, Environmental & Technical
Services, Forest Products, Human Resources, Refinery, Retail, and
Treasury. FCL’s role is quite varied but all aspects are directed
towards the needs of its member retail co-operatives. FCL provides the
following main commodities:

  • food (groceries, meat, produce, bakery and pharmacy);
  • petroleum (bulk petroleum, propane and gas bars);
  • general merchandise (hardware, building products and family fashions);
  • crop supplies (crop protection, farm equipment, seed and twine); and
  • livestock and poultry feed.

FCL’s services to retail co-ops range from
consumer and agro products, through to support services like
accounting, auditing, training, human resources, legal support,
advertising, printing, and management assistance. FCL also acts as a
source for specialists like facilities project planning and
construction, field agronomists, livestock and poultry specialists,
petroleum engineering and additive information, computer system
analysts, recruitment specialists, and any other area that a retail
co-op may need guidance.

To
serve retail co-ops, FCL operates a home office in Saskatoon and
regional offices in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton.
Distribution centres are located in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and
Edmonton. FCL’s fleet of trucks ensures the flow of goods from
suppliers to retail co-ops (the highway trucking fleet consists of 143
merchandising trailers and 103 tankers). FCL operates seven feed
plants, where more than 1,000 varieties of animal and poultry feed are
produced, and ten propane distribution branches, delivering propane on
behalf of retail co-ops direct to farmers, livestock producers,
commercial accounts and grain dryers. FCL’s sawmill and plywood plant
in Canoe, British Columbia supply many of the lumber products available
in retail co-op lumber yards and home centres. In addition, FCL owns a
number of corporate food stores and petroleum operations. FCL employs
approximately 1,850 people.