2022 Annual Report
March 12, 2024

I am honoured to report to the membership on our operations for the fiscal year 2022. As I look back on the year and reflect on all the things our Co-op accomplished, I am in awe of our team members, members, customers, and leadership team. I am proud to share with you that we continued to grow our business in significant ways, with just about every community in Prairie North Co-op seeing capital re-investment:
• we welcomed the customers and staff from Paragon Ag and the St. Brieux Ag and Hardware store into our Co-op
• we continued to grow our Ag division - both people and facilities. Our AGRO FUEL team is now comprised of 34 knowledgeable individuals, we have added a tri-drive truck to the fleet for fuel delivery, converted a fuel delivery truck to bulk oil, and work began on a new NH3 site near Ethelton
• we opened our new Admin office on Burrows Avenue in Melfort
• our new Melfort Food Store is well under way and scheduled to open in August 2023
• the C-store in Archerwill underwent one of the most dramatic transformations I have witnessed in my 30 years at Co-op
• our Kelvington team members rebounded from a disastrous plow wind that tore the roof off the C-store and did immense damage in the community and to our other retails sites there.

One of the things that make Co-ops a different kind of business is the belief that we are better together and 2022 was certainly a testament of that. Much of what we achieved can be credited to the commitment of all levels of our organization–Board, Leadership, and Team Members–to focus on being the trusted first choice for our members and customers, and to bring our values of Service, Integrity, and Unity to life each day. Our gross sales were up $45,264,630, this is an increase of 35%. Last year in the Annual Report, I reported that “by most standards, 2021 was our most successful year in over a decade” . . . that can now be said about 2022. Managing through growth can be a challenge as growth brings change and not everyone is comfortable with change. In the Fall of 2022, we administered an organization-wide employee engagement survey. With a survey participation rate of 87%, of the 13 key dimensions measured in the survey–rewards and recognition, work/ life integration, and safety to name a few–Prairie North Co-op, I am proud to report that we were up in 11 of the 13 areas over a similar survey conducted two years ago.

“Better together” is reflected in our organizational structure through shared service agreements. In 2019 Prairie North Co-op entered into shared service agreements with Beeland, Carrot River and Parkland to share management expertise in Occupational Health and Safety. Today finance, delivery of bulk fuel, IT, and marketing are other areas of sharing as we continue to leverage our relationships with neighbouring co-operatives to capture efficiencies and improve financial results.

Co-ops have long believed in being a responsible business – protecting our members’ investments while also considering our people, our communities, and our environment. The process of reviewing our facilities is an ongoing one. It can be triggered from an operations standpoint – is the facility meeting the needs of our members and customers in that community? Is it allowing us to do business efficiently? And it can be triggered by an opportunity, like when we hear about the potential sale of a local business that complements our portfolio and aligns with our growth plan. Prairie North Co-op is dedicated to contributing to the sustainability of the communities in which we do business. The projects outlined in my introductory comments demonstrate a commitment to investing in the local economy and to meeting our member’s needs for decades to come.

Gross sales for the 2022 fiscal year were $174,247,392. Our patronage and loyalty payments from Federated Co-operatives Limited was $5,107,144 in 2022. Of the $4,924,301 after-tax savings, $2,311,390 has been put to reserve and $2,105,323 was returned to members in the form of contributions to equity accounts and cash back in the form of cheques. The balance sheet of Prairie North Co-op in 2022 depicts total assets of $100,229,627 compared to $75,747,801 in 2021 and member owner equity of $48,502,515 . . . up from $46,580,403.

In Prairie North Co-op, sustainability drives growth–renovations and new builds–and the facilities decisions that we make around environmental practises, waste reduction and energy efficiency. Sustainability also drives our Ag Division’s recycling efforts for pesticide and seed containers, used oil containers, tires, and batteries. It is our Food Division’s support of local food banks and adoption of the LOOP program for food waste diversion and our commitment to sourcing local food suppliers to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation. Sustainability is the choice of chemicals we use in our car wash in Melfort and how the water used is treated before it returns to the municipal system. And sustainability is employing local people and supporting local projects and organizations so that our members take pride in being a part of our co-operative and our customers feel good about supporting us. I am proud to share with you that we continued to grow our business in significant ways, with just about every community in Prairie North Co-op seeing capital re-investment.
2021 marked the creation of our Sustainable Communities Fund, an allocation of $25,000 to provide support to capital projects and new programs to enhance the quality of life for the people in the communities and surrounding region that make up Prairie North Co-op. In its 2nd year, over 20 applications were received between September 1 and September 30. The successful projects are listed in Ed Dufault’s report from the Board. In total, $154,463 was donated to 223 charities and non-profits throughout the year.

I want to close by recognizing the contribution of our 296 team members, our board members, and our 12,795 member owners. Whether your role in our co operative was one of trusting us to provide you with the goods and services that you need daily; or one of leadership; or it was one of showing up day in and day out with a co-op shield on your shirt and a smile on your face, because of you, as a co-operative, we are making a difference in our members’ lives. Thank you.

Terry Tremblay, GM Prairie North Co-op