Co-op will be mailing equity cheques out this year

Southern Plains Co-op member/owner allocations totalled at $2,451,019 for the period from Feb. 1, 2019, to Jan. 31, 2020.

But unlike previous years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the cheques will be mailed out to members/owners.

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This year, in the gas and commercial fuel, people received 5.25 per cent (or $0.06) per litre. On purchases of farm diesel fuel, the allocations were 6.75 per cent or six cents per litre as well. Oil purchases were 9.75 per cent payback, food was a 2.75 per cent return and everything else was 1.5 per cent payback.

Last year saw liquor stores open at the Estevan and Oxbow locations. Equity on the alcohol is being paid out as a food item at 2.75 per cent return this year.

Co-op human resources manager Carol McKay said their numbers this year were on par with last year's totals and breakdowns.

“It is very similar to the few previous years. And the allocations are very similar. They may be a little bit different, but they are very similar to what we’ve done in the last few years,” said McKay.

Southern Plains Co-op have returned $6,793,901 in cash to members/owners over the past five years.

Member allocations are part of being a co-op member. Purchases, which people collect using their co-op number, are tabulated at the end of the financial year in late January, then the co-op makes their financial statement, and based on the total income they made for the year, part of it is added to the paid back cheques.

McKay said they really appreciate all members and their business.

“Thank you to the members for their support. They are owners of this business, so they have received part of our profit back to them based on what they’ve purchased. It’s excellent, it’s great to be a member and it’s good that the co-op has done well again in 2019 and we do get to pay back to our members again this year. That’s a good success rate.”

The member equity days were held every summer at different locations and were a long-time tradition. It’s a day when the co-op hands over cheques to members based on how much money they spent in the different departments the previous fiscal year, and the overall profits of the co-op.

This year cheques will be mailed out by July 15, and McKay said that unfortunately, she didn’t foresee any kind of activity to happen this year due to gathering restrictions.

“That’s a big change. We are not having members stopping to pick them up. Because of COVID-19 we can’t do barbecues as we’ve done them in the past. We want to get these cheques out to our members, so everything will be mailed out by the middle of July,” said McKay.

Those willing to become a co-op member can invest $10 for a lifetime member/owner share and start sharing in the profits.

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