The Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association

October 17, 2006 11:45 ET

The Ontario Co-Operative Association: Local Leader in the Ontario Co-Operative Sector Celebrated

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - The Ontario Natural Food Co-op (ONFC) will receive the Distinguished Co-operator Spirit Award in recognition of its success in providing a co-operative structure to help people access high quality food at affordable prices. The Etobicoke-based food co-op began in 1976 when the members of 11 retail food co-ops and buying clubs merged to form the groundbreaking alternative organization.

The ONFC has been an outspoken leader in promoting the co-operative model and values, reaching hundreds of thousands of people over three decades of public speaking, mass media coverage, its own member newsletter and word-of-mouth communication. In nominating ONFC, Co-operative Developer Russ Christianson, praised the not-for-profit co-op for its ability to survive amidst competition from the for-profit food distribution industry. "For 30 years, often facing insurmountable obstacles, the ONFC has been providing the best quality natural and organic foods to thousands of food co-op, buying club and natural food retail members across Ontario... without the ONFC, there would not be a visible, successful alternative to the oligopoly corporate food system."

Under the theme of Share, Learn, Grow, the Co-op Gala presents a day of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities, and culminates in the annual Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards dinner. The Gala takes place at the Royal Botanical Gardens, (680 Plains Road West), Burlington.

Gala sponsors include co-operatives of all sizes - Credit Union Central of Ontario, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative, GROWMARK, Inc., The Co-operators, BDO Dunwoody, the CUMIS Group, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (Ontario Region), Growthworks Capital Ltd., Iler Campbell, Lerners LLP, Meridian Credit Union, Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Prentice, Yates and Clark, AgEnergy Co-operative, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative, Foss National Leasing, Land O'Lakes Feed, Unisync Group Ltd. and Moonscape Multimedia. The Spirit Awards dinner will feature food items provided by Ontario co-operatives.

The Gala and Spirit Awards are presented by the Ontario Co-operative Association. The Ontario Co-operative Association is the primary resource in Ontario for the development and enhancement of co-operatives and credit unions across the province.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Co-operative Association
    Mark Ventry
    Member Service and Marketing Officer
    1-888-745-5521 or (519) 763-8271 x30
    The Ontario Natural Food Co-op
    Kim DeLallo
    (416) 503-1144