At their respective annual general meetings (AGM), the members of both Borderland and
Hometown Co-ops have voted to approve a special resolution to move forward with the amalgamation proposed in April.
Hometown’s AGM was held June 7 with 36 members and six guests in attendance. The resolution was carried unanimously. Borderland’s AGM was held June 8 with 43 members and three guests in attendance. The resolution was also carried with 100 per cent support.
The new board will take effect Oct. 10, and consists of members from Rocanville, Broadview, Moosomin, Maryfield, Kipling and Whitewood. Lawrence Swanson will become president of Borderland Co-op with Chris Ashfield serving as vice-president and Astrid Van‘t Westeinde serving as secretary.
The next steps will see both co-ops prepare all the documentation, integration of processes and many other behind the scenes tasks to bring two co-ops together on paper in advance of the Oct. 10 amalgamation date.
Until the end of the day on Oct. 9, both co-ops will continue to operate as Borderland and Hometown separately.
Members will be contacted over the next four months with options available to them for combining shared member numbers.
In a press release, it was stated that co-ops were built on the concept of working together and this partnership is sure to make for a stronger, united co-op committed to serving their communities better.
“That founding principle remains at the heart of this partnership as both co-ops share a vision to offer value, enhance growth and maintain relevance for current and next generation members.”
“I see endless opportunities ahead for this new partnership,” said Swanson, who is the president of the Hometown board. “Stability, opportunities for growth and efficiencies in all commodities that will make the member experience stronger and more rewarding across all communities we serve.”
“The decision to amalgamate will ensure a strong, vibrant and innovative co-op exists in our rural communities. Both co-ops complement each other very well,” added Rob Hill, the president of the Borderland board.
By partnering together, the united co-op will be more resilient to increasing competition and will have more resources and talent to pool together in order to innovate.
“Having come from Hometown and now being part of the leadership team for both co-ops, I believe there is significant value in the common goal we share ... building a strong and stable rural co-op that can constantly evolve to meet the needs of our members in the communities we serve,” said Darren Ottenbreit, home and agro ops director.
“Unifying our co-ops will provide efficiencies in operations, more expertise to better develop our people and ultimately, a better shopping experience for members of both co-op’s which will earn local support and keep our locations viable for the long term.”
Jason Schenn, CEO of Borderland and GM of Hometown shares his view: “Borderland has always focused on being a strong and stable rural co-operative which has been extended to Hometown through the management agreement. The pandemic has proven that when communities support their local businesses, they can be sustainable for the long term. Our continuing mission is to strive to earn our members support so that rural communities we serve can continue to provide essential services long into the future. Having these resolutions approved by the membership means we can focus our efforts on combining our two co-ops into one unified co-op. We thank our members for their support, and we look forward to creating more opportunities to contribute to what makes rural communities so special.”