News Local

Homestead Co-op proposing partnership with Portage

Valley Leader Staff

Homestead Co-op (formerly Carman Co-op) and Portage Co-op will be holding an amalgamation vote next month. (FILE/VALLEY LEADER)

Homestead Co-op (formerly Carman Co-op) and Portage Co-op will be holding an amalgamation vote next month. (FILE/VALLEY LEADER)

Homestead Co-op and Portage Co-op members will be voting next month on whether or not the two businesses should amalgamate.

Homestead Co-op (formerly Carman Co-op) announced the partnership proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Both co-op’s Boards of Directors believe that an amalgamation will form a stronger, single co-operative.

They say both organizations share a vision to offer value, enhance growth and maintain relevance for current and future members.

“Our two Co-op are so like-minded this will be an easy transition. This partnership will make us stronger and more relevant for future generations,” stated Jason Rheault, General Manager of Homestead Co-op.

The benefits to a united co-operative include greater resiliency to increasing competition and more opportunities to take advantage of pooled resources and talent in order to innovate.

Both co-ops say that current and future members will benefit from the amalgamation in a number of ways.

“Our Co-op will remain a local institution directed by the membership,” said Kevin Dales Portage Co-op General Manager in a statement.

“By coming together, we’ll be able to offer members a wider range of products and services. The biggest benefit to all members is the ability to use one Co-op number in seven communities and at 16 different locations.”

Members would be able to use their co-op number at four food stores, one pharmacy, three home centers, five gas bars, five cardlocks and one Ag site.

The bulk petroleum fleet would have four trucks operating out of two bulk fuel sites.

The new co-op – which the boards are proposing to call Homestead Co-op - would serve a trading area that covers over 4000 square kilometres from La Salle to the east and as far west as Austin.

Both co-operatives have an extensive history of serving the members in their respective communitie, with a focus on investing locally and giving back. They say the commitment to communities will only be strengthened as a result of the partnership.

Homestead Co-op and Portage Co-op are inviting all members to join them for information sessions and membership votes at the beginning of April.

Homestead Co-op members will meet at Active Living Centre in Carman on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. Portage Co-op members will meet at William Glesby Centre in Portage La Prairie on April 3 at 6:00 p.m.

If approved, a transition process will be established to integrate the two operations effective February 3, 2019.

Members and customers may notice some changes and may need to review their co-op numbers and accounts if they are members of both co-operatives.

Information packages are available at all locations prior to the meetings.