24 SOURCE | Winter 2023
Co-operatively Embrun Co-op
A new partner in Great Lakes Grain operates differently in Eastern Ontario
Juli Paladino , Marketing and Communications Manager , FS PARTNERS & UPI Energy FS jpaladino @ growmark . com
Situated in the eastern corner of Ontario ’ s FS System , Embrun Co-op is a fully self-sufficient member co-operative that pushes the boundaries of quality products and services to its local customer base .
Interestingly , this co-op is one of the few predominantly French-speaking member co-ops in Ontario . Visitors to any one of the Embrun facilities are initially greeted with a friendly “ bonjour !” Only 30 minutes from Canada ’ s capital , Ottawa , this 78-year-old co-operative has learned to do things differently and successfully . It operates seven divisions in total , including four agricultural divisions : Agtrek Nutrition ( dairy nutrition ), Feed , Crops , and Grain Elevators ( Great Lakes Grain ). They have two retail divisions : a Your Independent Grocer ( complete with cannabis shop and a JOE FRESH clothing department ) and a RONA hardware store . The Energy Division serves both rural and urban residents with two full-serve gas stations which provide convenience products and modern Country Style coffee self-serve counters , as well as the home / commercial / agricultural bulk fuel side of things .
Taking co-operative ventures to a whole new level , this FS member even brews beer during Co-op Week in Ontario ( October 16-22 , 2022 ). Embrun Co-op ’ s Communications , Marketing and Member Relations Manager , Allie Gasser , comments : “ We ’ ve partnered with a local brewery for two years in a row now to make a Harvest Ale in honour of our agricultural roots and members . Brewed from locally-sourced hops , it ’ s called Co-Hop and it ’ s a big hit marketing-wise !”
Embrun Co-op has recently become the third partner in Great Lakes Grain , so we took the opportunity to catch up with them to discuss their grain marketing division and their relationship with Great Lakes Grain . For anyone unaware of this Canadian grain marketing powerhouse , Great Lakes Grain ( GLG ) is a partnership between AGRIS Co-operative , GROWMARK , Inc . ( in Ontario , that means the FS PARTNERS retail division ), and now Embrun Co-op in eastern Ontario . Dispatching a hard working grain team to cover grain storage , elevators , marketing , international demands and trends , the Great Lakes Grain team works hard every day with local growers to help them