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MESSAGE FROM THE CEO A


PAUL haynes CEO, SOUTH COUNTRY CO-OP


Thank you for being part of our story.


popular refrain you’ll often hear in the hallways of South Country Co-op’s Corporate Office is “tell our story”. I’ve been part of the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) for 20 years and have watched the growth of co-ops across western Canada, both in


general, and from within South Country Co-op.


South Country’s roots reach back over 60 years into the past, from humble but united beginnings. Since 1956, South Country Co-op has expanded and grown to include over 55 locations in 19 communities across southern Alberta. We’re the third largest Co-op in the CRS, with over 62,000 member-owners who each have a say in the direction our company takes.


But our story is about so much more than numbers. It’s about our incredible front-line Team, almost 700 members strong who greet our guests like friends. It’s about our Management, many of whom worked their way up to their positions with the support of the CRS and the Co-operative way. It’s about our Board of Directors, who all have fond memories of Co-ops growing up and wanting to ensure the continued success of co-ops today.


As a united Team, we make it our goal to provide extraordinary customer service to all our members and guests so you leave our stores truly feeling “at home here”. We’re committed to offering quality products and services that sustain our business practices, but also support the communities in which we live, work, and play.


2019 has been a tough year, especially in agriculture. Challenging weather conditions played havoc with farmers and their crops, and our ag sales dropped, which is consistent with the rest of western Canada. Deflation in petroleum pricing compared to 2018 pricing has created some hurdles, as well.


Despite this, our local earnings are projected to improve over 2018. We completed a number of projects this year to better serve our members and guests across our trading area, such as the renovation of our Oyen cardlock, an upgrade to the Medicine Hat cardlock, the renovation of the 13th Avenue food store and pharmacy, and the completion of a 16-pump gas bar, convenience store, car wash, and flagship liquor store in Medicine Hat.


We’re approaching 2020 with optimism and excitement, with a number of initiatives in the works to continue providing the superior customer service and community support we strive for every day. Some of these initiatives include a new cardlock in Claresholm, a projected renovation of the Taber food store, and a fertilizer plant near our Cypress Agro and Hardware Center in Cypress County.


Change is constant, and our competition drives us to challenge ourselves—but in the best ways. The benefits a co-op can offer a community are awesome and powerful, and we hope you feel the same way, especially after you read our story in the following pages.


Thank you for being part of our circle of support as a South Country Co-op member. YOU make it possible for us to give back, and truly make a difference in our communities and in our members lives. We look forward to many more years of continued success.


CO-OP Telling our Story | 3


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