SASKATOON — Federated Co-operatives is reporting that 2018 was a record year for earnings, saying it made nearly $1.1 billion from nearly $10.7 billion in sales.
CEO Scott Banda says profits from Co-op's refinery in Regina were a big contributor to the record year, noting Co-op spent a lot of time at their refinery to improve their processes, safety and management of expenses.
Banda did not, however, know about the exact impact a strike in Saskatchewan has had on the greater Co-op brand throughout Western Canada.
Close to 900 unionized Co-op workers in Saskatoon have been on strike since Nov. 1 over a dispute that's focused on the company's push for a second-tier wage scale for new employees.
Banda says Federated Co-operatives is committed to supporting all their co-ops across the Prairies and British Columbia.
In 2018, FCL returned $789 million dollars to 170 local co-operative associations.
He says all the earnings will remain in Western Canada and that over the past 10 years, FCL has shared $4.7 billion of its profits with local Co-ops.
Banda says that in 10 years, he expects Co-op's presence in western Canada will continue to grow and that they'll remain in communities where other businesses have decided to leave.