GUELPH, ON, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Emerging co-ops in Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and British Columbia finished atop the West Region of The
National Co-op Challenge, each winning a share of $220,000 in prize
money. The announcement was made today by The Co-operators, which
created the contest in celebration of the International Year of
Co-operatives. In accordance with co-operative principles, it empowered
individual Canadians by giving them a voice in choosing the winners
from among dozens of emerging co-ops, by voting via Facebook.
Good Food Junction Co-op of Saskatoon took 1st Prize in the West Region, while Cortes Natural Food Co-op of Mansons
Landing, B.C. and Winnipeg's Peg City Car Co-op finished in the second
and third spots respectively, based on the number of votes received
between October 22 and November 21.
1st Prize: Good Food Junction Co-op, Saskatoon ($30,000)
Good Food Junction is a grocery co-op that recently opened in a
neighbourhood of Saskatoon whose residents have the lowest incomes and
poorest health in the city, and which has been without a full-service
grocery store since 1997. The co-op provides the community and its more
than 450 members with healthy food, good jobs and a source of community
pride. The prize money will help this emerging co-op promote its
products and services and expand its membership.
2nd Prize: Cortes Natural Food Co-op, Mansons Landing, B.C. ($15,000)
Located on beautiful Cortes Island off the coast of British Columbia,
Cortes Natural Food Co-op is a grocery store that supports organic and
local industries, and goods that promote a healthy lifestyle. The
co-op, jointly owned by its local consumer, worker and producer
members, will use the funding to help with the purchase of a parcel of
land on which it sits. Already the hub of the community, the purchase
will create new opportunities for the co-op to serve the island
3rd Prize: Peg City Car Co-op, Winnipeg ($10,000)
Peg City Car Co-op's 108 members share four vehicles, allowing them to
live the organization's motto, "Bike. Walk. And sometimes, drive." Its
objective is to expand to 400 members with 11 vehicles over the next
two years. The funding it has earned will help it reach this goal while
raising awareness of its transportation vision for the future.
"The winners, and all of the contestants in The National Co-op
Challenge, reflect the diversity, richness and spirit of the
co-operative sector in Canada. As these emerging organizations
demonstrate, the future of co-ops in this country is very bright
indeed," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators.
"Co-ops provide members with a meaningful voice in directing their
organizations, so it was only fitting that The National Co-op Challenge
would give Canadians a say in choosing the winners. Thousands of people
engaged with us through Facebook over the past couple of months, and we
are proud of the legacy we've created as part of our celebration of the
International Year of Co-operatives."
Emerging co-ops from throughout Canada applied, and the 24 finalists
produced 90-second videos introducing their co-ops and outlining their
plans on how they would use the prize money. Voting was open to anyone
with a Facebook page, from October 22 to November 21. For a full list
of the winners from all four Regions, please visit The Co-operators
About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with
more than $36 billion in assets under administration. Through its group
of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and
farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is
well known for its community involvement and its commitment to
sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers
in Canada and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.
As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The
Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of
Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.
SOURCE: The Co-operators
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