Our 2019 Annual Report is now available.

Thank You To Our Funder

For over 90 years, the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) and Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) have increased the relevance and resilience of rural communities across western Canada. Their investment in Co-operatives First over the past four years is just one example.

Last year alone, the CRS directly employed over 20,000 people, returned millions in profits to local members, and drove billions in revenues through the western Canadian economy – much of that within small, rural economies. The economic impact of the CRS in western Canada is enormous.

Thanks to this unique network of independent businesses, people in small towns have services they might not have otherwise, and farmers have access to essential crop inputs from a reliable and familiar source. These member owners – nearly 2 million of them – also receive a return by way of patronage payments, which in turn helps fuel wealth in rural economies across western Canada. The relevance and resilience of the CRS has only increased over the years. In fact, FCL’s vision is “building sustainable communities together” and we’re proud to play a role in realizing that goal.

At Co-operatives First, we experience the positive impact the CRS has on rural communities every day and are very proud to be funded through FCL by these uniquely western Canadian businesses.

To those managing and maintaining this legacy, thank you. Thank you for continuing to believe in the potential of rural and Indigenous communities throughout western Canada. And thank you for supporting and funding our mandate as we too do our best to improve the relevance and resilience of rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada and help them grow and thrive.

Past Reports

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”