News Release - May 4, 1999
NEW GENERATION CO-OPERATIVES ACT INTRODUCED
Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon said
that The New Generation Co-operatives Act being debated in the
legislature will enable new generation co-operatives to be created,
providing producers with a valuable tool to maintain and create
value-added opportunities and jobs in rural Saskatchewan.
New generation co-operatives represent an emerging trend sweeping the
plains regions in Canada and the USA. "New gen" co-ops use the
governance structures of traditional co-ops, such as democratic
control represented by one-member, one-vote. However, this model
typically requires higher levels of equity investment from its
members. Membership is generally limited to those who purchase
delivery rights and each member may have a tied-contract with the
co-operative, stipulating delivery rights and obligations.
These co-operatives add value to raw product through secondary
processing. There is interest in forming such co-ops in emerging
specialty markets such as bison, pasta, wild boar, herbs and spices.
New generation co-ops offer innovative options to process products in
Saskatchewan, creating jobs throughout the province.
"Our government is pursuing a strategy to promote value added
processing while retaining the benefits of that activity in rural
communities," MacKinnon said. "We are introducing this
legislation to build on our co-op model. With their emphasis on
partnership, participation and people, co-ops can be powerful
partners in this strategy."
"Co-operatives are flexible in meeting new needs. In fact,
co-operatives seem to form and thrive the most in times of rapid
change. New generation co-operatives are the most recent example
of co-ops' adaptability and have great potential to create jobs
and opportunities in rural Saskatchewan."
MacKinnon said that co-operatives have been key partners in the
diversification of the Saskatchewan economy over the decades, and
have been in the forefront of innovative technologies, products
"Co-ops have shaped our province they are part of our social
and economic fabric," MacKinnon said. "They will continue to be
an equally vital part of our future."
For more information, contact:
Economic and Co-operative Development
Phone: (306) 787-1691