Co-op Week 2017: It’s Here!

Canadian Co-ops – It’s Your Time to Shine

As co-ops and credit unions across the country hold Co-op Week celebrations from October 15 – 21, 2017, here are some fun facts about co-ops we bet you didn’t know:

  • Co-ops are the life of the party. The London Brewing Company in Ontario is the first worker’s co-operative brewery outside of Quebec. It’s owned by the people who work there, with each one participating in setting the direction of the business, in a democratic manner. They’ve got “Local 117” on tap now.
  • Your pancakes taste better because of co-ops – 35% of the world’s maple syrup supply comes from Canadian co-ops.
  • Thanks to Holland Flora, a flower co-op in the Netherlands, our world is more beautiful and smells nicer, too. This European co-op holds 44% of the world market, selling 19 million flowers and two million plants every single day!
  • Ontario is home to eight renewable energy co-ops and the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op was the first-ever green power community co-op in Canada. When it comes to green energy, Ontario tops the list!

Workers are also owners at London Brewing Company. Source: London Brewing Company

Quebec co-operative, Citadelle, is the world’s largest maple syrup producer and exporter. Source:

Holland Flora’s warehouse. Source: Holland Toolkit

TREC is Canada’s leader in the development of community owned renewable energy. Source: TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative.

There’s no doubt that co-ops are leaders in many business sectors, and during Co-op Week, we celebrate with them for all that they do to help to build a better world. Co-operatives are all about achieving sustainable social, economic, cultural, and environmental goals, as guided by international co-operative principles and values.

In the last of our co-op blog series, we feature the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), with whom we’ve been working since 2011. The CCA is a not-for-profit co-op dedicated to ending global poverty through co-operative action. The mission of the CCA is “to establish and grow co-operatives, credit unions and community-based organizations to reduce poverty, build sustainable livelihoods and improve civil society in less-developed countries.”

Since 1987, the CCA has been organizing and assembling the human and financial resources of Canada’s co-operatives and credit unions to bring valuable international development programs. This is accomplished with the support of local partnerships in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Americas, on behalf of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) and Global Affairs Canada.

Source: Canadian Co-operative Association

In 2014, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) was launched by combining the experience and history of two large co-op organizations: the CCA and le Conseil canadien de la coopération et mutualité (CCCM), which had, up to that point, been operating separately. As a bilingual association, the CMC represents more than 18 million members from 9,000 co-operatives, giving a united voice to its membership. CMC focuses its activities on helping co-operatives establish themselves, develop, and prosper. Through federal government advocacy, CMC offers a knowledgeable voice to support national policies which strengthen the co-operative economy. With its members representing many sectors including agri-food and supply, housing, finance, insurance, wholesale and retail, health, as well as the service sector, CMC provides leadership for the benefit of all Canadians.

Lobby Day in Ottawa on February 14, 2017. Source: Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada / Coopératives et mutuelles Canada

The co-op way is all about people, empowerment, sustainability, autonomy, community and caring for one another. It’s no wonder we love supporting co-ops and all the important work they do, here at home and around the world.

To learn more about the CCA or the CMC, please visit their websites: and For more information about our co-op product line, please visit our co-op products website at

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