Member Commitment and the Market and Financial Performance of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool

Since 2001 several of the largest agricultural co-operatives in Western Canada and the United States have battled impending bankruptcy or ceased operations. In February 2001 Dairyworld Foods was bought out by Montreal dairy processor and cheese producer Saputo Inc. (Saputo; Toronto Stock Exchange). In November 2001, Agricore, formed through a 1998 merger of Alberta Wheat Pool Ltd. and Manitoba Pool Elevators, merged with United Grain Growers to form Agricore United (Agricore United). In the United States, AgWay and Farmland Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002 (Reuters, 2000), while the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (hereinafter referred to as SWP or the Pool) underwent a massive debt restructuring in 2003 after four years of consecutive multi-million dollar net losses (SWP Annual Report, 2003). This decline in the market and financial performance of agricultural co-operatives has been associated with a decline in the commitment of the members to their co-operatives (Fulton, 1999; Fulton and Giannakas, 2001; Richards, Klein and Walburger, 1998; Burt and Wirth, 1990). The purpose of this article is to examine the market and financial performance of one of a number of co-operatives that have faced recent financial and market hardships, and to link this performance to member commitment. Specifically, the article examines whether the Pool’s declining market and financial performance is consistent with the predictions that emerge from a model that examines the impact of falling member commitment in a co-operative.

Issue Date:
Dec 31 2004
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Issue 5
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Series Statement:
Number 5

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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