Co-op has big plans for 12-acre site south of Peterborough

Peterborough and Sunderland co-ops had amalgamated about five years ago and this facility will give them the opportunity to add grain elevation, agronomy and a fuel distribution center

Sunderland Co-operative Inc., general manager Jake Vancuren, president Urs Kressibucher and Otonabee-South Monaghan mayor Joe Taylor cut the ribbon to open Sunderland Co-op’s new retail and warehouse facility south east of Peterborough.

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OTONABEE – The first phase of the Sunderland Co-op’s expansion east – a retail store located in a refurbished auto wrecker’s shop, opened here last week.

It gives the 1,800-member co-op a launching pad of sorts for an expansion which will eventually include grain handling, president Urs Kressibucher explained. Previously the Co-op had sites at Sunderland, Peterborough, Lindsay and Oakwood.

Otonabee South Monaghan mayor Joe Taylor had thanked the Co-op for “having the confidence in our township to locate here and I know that our residents and the residents of County of Peterborough will support it.”

He said he was “just gob-smacked,” when he saw the renovations which have occurred since the purchase of the leaky building on the 12.8 acre site just south of Highway 7 on the eastern boundary of Peterborough.

“It’s going to support the needs of the agricultural people in this community and others for many, many years,” Taylor predicted.

General manager Jake Vancuren explained the co-op has a long bright future as it heads into its 70th year in business.

“We hope to be another long-term business that’ll be here.”

Several directors and municipal councillors attended the opening with about 30 customers and patrons and Vancuren explained the co-op’s initiative which is ‘GROW’.

“The four pillars of GROW are, growing great relationships, resources of unmatched value, optimizing the supply chain and winning innovations,” Vancuren said The retail/warehourse facility “we think hits all four pillars and we’ve got more work to do here,” Vancuren added.

The Co-op has a large livestock feed division.

Kressibucher explained that Peterborough and Sunderland co-ops had amalgamated about five years ago and this facility will give them the opportunity to add grain elevation, agronomy and a fuel distribution center to their offering. The business, he said, has five divisions also including fertilizer and spraying.

“We’re still going undergoing a full feasibility study,” Vancuren said.

Kressibucher said the area is evolving to be more crop focused.

A release explains the co-op’s board “has a clear vision for the future of this site that will continue to be developed as opportunities arise.”

Kressibucher is quoted saying “We want to be able to provide the Whole Farm Plan experience to area farmers by delivering everything they need from seed to harvest to run a successful, prosperous and sustainable operation.”

He said the Co-op’s specialized services are used by about 6,000 clients located as far as Kingston to the southeast and Haliburton to the north.

The former auto wrecker facility, he said, was a place the co-op could “get into quite quickly but at the same time be able to operate without having to build from scratch. So when the opportunity came in we took a very in depth look at it and found that was a good opportunity for the membership at large. And that’s when the board made the decision.”

Sunderland Co-Operative Inc. is member-owner of GROWMARK Inc and markets under the FS brand. It was established in 1950 and says it “provides full-service and a complete complement of products and services in agronomy, feed, energy, grain marketing and consumer needs.”

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