By Dave Mabell
Alta Newspaper Group – Lethbridge
Canada’s largest consumer co-operative organization is investing $41.8 million in southern Alberta agriculture.
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) will start construction this spring on a highthroughput fertilizer terminal near Grassy Lake.
The 34.400-metric-tonne terminal is planned to be fully operational by the summer of 2020. It’s expected to create about 150 jobs during the construction phase.
“This facility supports local co-ops and is the next step on our journey to grow within the crop inputs business,” said Patrick Bergermann, Federated’s associate vice-president of “Ag and Home.”
“This is a long-term investment back into Western Canada that will help us better serve and meet the needs of local co-ops along with their members and customers.”
The state-of-the-art facility will feature a railway “looptrack” to accommodate 110-carunit trains, allowing it to quickly download fertilizer component products. It will also be able to fill a super B trailer with straight product in about six minutes.
The Grassy Lake terminal will be the third built recently by Federated Co-Op to warehouse, blend and distribute a full suite of crop nutrition products to locally owned Co-op Agro Centres – which then supply these products to their farm customers. In 2017, it built a 45,000-metric-tonne facility at Hanley – south of Saskatoon – and a 27,500-metric-tonne terminal at Brandon.
“Having a facility that efficiently receives and stores phosphate is essential as domestic production ends this spring,” said Dan Mulder, the organization’s fertilizer director. “This is one of the opportunities we want to provide through the terminal, along with greater convenience and service levels for Co-op customers in southern and central Alberta.”
Based in Saskatoon, Federated Co-operatives Limited is the nation’s largest non-financial cooperative in Canada. A unique multi-billion-dollar wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative, it is owned by more than 170 autonomous retail co-operatives across Western Canada – from northwestern Ontario to Vancouver Island.
Its southern Alberta retailers provide gasoline, car washes, liquor and groceries as well as agricultural products.