Two western organic food co-ops win $25,000 in The National Co-op Challenge
Oct 23, 2014
GUELPH, ON, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Co-operators announced today that Urban Eatin' Gardeners Worker Co-operative Ltd. of Winnipeg and Glorious Organics Workers Co-operative of Aldergrove, B.C. have each won $25,000 as the West Region winners of The National Co-op Challenge.
Uban Eatin' Gardeners Worker Co-operative Ltd. is a group of gardeners who use organic techniques to build and maintain vegetable and culinary gardens for private residences and public facilities in Winnipeg. The prize money will be used to establish a "Green Thumb" program to help residents such as seniors, disabled, and low-income residents who face barriers to gardening establish edible or native perennial gardens.
Glorious Organics Workers Co-operative is a farming collective situated on Fraser Common Farm in Aldergrove, B.C. It grows some 30 varieties of certified organic food that is sold to restaurants and at farmers markets. It also operates a Community Shared Agriculture program in which members purchase a share of the crop at the beginning of the season and receive boxes of food weekly. With the prize money, it plans to build an eco-friendly education centre and greenhouse from which it can run workshops year-round and provide a community meeting space.
"Every co-op in this contest makes an impact on its local community, providing needed goods and services and contributing to the overall strength and resilience of the community," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "The contest helped promote these wonderful enterprises, which operate in a wide range of sectors, from urban farming and culture to health care and alternative energy -- a true representation of the great diversity of the Canadian co-op sector."
Sixteen small and emerging co-ops from across Canada were selected as finalists, four from each of four regions. Each created a video to raise awareness of their enterprise while also educating the public about the co-operative business model. The Canadian public was able to vote for their favourite co-op through the contest website from September 3 to October 1, with the two co-ops in each region garnering the most votes declared the winners.
About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $36 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.
SOURCE The Co-operators
For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937