Five Canadian Co-ops Become Member-Owners of The Co-operators



    GUELPH, ON, Jan. 9 /CNW/ - The Co-operators Group Ltd. is pleased to
announce an expansion of its membership as five co-operatives recently became
member-owners of the organization. A total of 46 Canadian co-ops, credit union
centrals and like-minded organizations now comprise the co-operative ownership
group, following The Co-operators Board of Directors' approval of membership
applications from Co-operative Auto Network, Farmers Co-operative Dairy Ltd.,
Granny's Poultry Cooperative Ltd., Organic Meadow Co-operative Inc., and
United Community Services Co-op.
    "These new members are warmly welcomed, as they enhance the diversity of
our membership and bring new perspectives and expertise to our governance,"
said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "They are all
very successful organizations whose commitment to co-operative principles is
unwavering. The Co-operators is a stronger organization today because of their
membership."

    Founded in Vancouver in 1997, Co-operative Auto Network is a
not-for-profit co-operative that fosters car sharing as an environmentally
responsible transportation option. With more than 4,200 members, it is the
largest car sharing co-op in Canada.

    Farmers Co-operative Dairy represents milk producers throughout Atlantic
Canada. Incorporated in 1961, the co-op's mission is to operate a profitable
dairy enterprise, demonstrating leadership and innovation in processing,
packing and marketing its members' products.

    Granny's Poultry Cooperative's history goes back more than 50 years, and
it was officially incorporated in 1979. Today Manitoba-based Granny's is a
primary and secondary poultry processor with more than 200 producer members
comprising chicken, turkey and hatching egg producers.

    Organic Meadow was formed in 1989 to provide an opportunity for organic
farmers in Ontario to collectively store, process and market organically-grown
products. The co-operative now represents more than 100 family farms that
produce milk, egg, grains and oilseeds.

    United Community Services Co-op represents more than 100 non-profit and
charitable organizations in British Columbia. The organizations are directly
or indirectly engaged in community, social or health services throughout the
province.

    Co-operatives are organizations that are owned and democratically
controlled by the members who use its services or products. The Co-operators
members are a diverse group that represent all regions of Canada and a variety
of sectors: agriculture, financial, service, retail/consumer, health, and
labour.

    About The Co-operators:

    Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian
companies offering home, auto, life, group, commercial and farm insurance, as
well as investment products. With assets of more than $7 billion, The
Co-operators is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and
like-minded organizations. It is well known for its philanthropy and community
involvement, and is listed in Report on Business among the 50 Best Employers
in Canada.





For further information:

For further information: please contact: Leonard Sharman, The
Co-operators, 1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707


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