GROWMARK, Inc.

GROWMARK, Inc.
Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd.

Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd.

September 08, 2010 10:57 ET

Vineland Co-op Named One of Most Improved in FS System

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2010) - Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. was one of five FS member co-operatives throughout Ontario and the United States recognized by GROWMARK, Inc. for business performance improvement during the GROWMARK Annual Meeting in Chicago on Aug. 27.

GROWMARK measures the improvement in the performance of member co-operatives based on return on invested capital. Over a five-year time frame, each co-operative's return on invested capital improvement is measured in comparison to other co-operatives in the System. From this measurement, the Performance Improvement Award was developed. 

Vineland Growers Co-operative also received GROWMARK's Top Twenty Percent Award in 2005 and 2007. In 2001, it was honoured with the Ontario Co-operative Association's Co-operative Innovator Award and last year, the co-operative was the proud recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the town of Lincoln (in the larger business category).

Vineland Growers Co-op is fully owned by the producers it serves. It provides the sales and marketing support to its farmer-owners by effectively selling their fruit to major grocery store chains across Canada and in some locations in the United States filling their shelves with high quality cherries, yellow and blue plums, peaches, nectarines, table grapes, pears and most recently vineyard grapes. The supply side of the business provides farmers with the tools and products they need to maximize production such as fertilizers, sprays and other agricultural inputs. Vineland Growers Co-operative also manufactures and sells a large quantity of fruit baskets, shipment trays and other container styles that resulted in almost nine million units sold last year.

Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd. was established in 1913, and was founded by four forward-thinking farmers who realized there were benefits to working together. Now the company represents over 300 members in tender fruit and grape production, most of which hail from the Niagara region. Today, Vineland Co-operative has 29 full time employees but grows to an employee base of three times that amount in the peak growing season. The co-operative's manager is George Mitges and Phil Tregunno is the president.

Other recipients of the GROWMARK Annual Most Improvement Award are: Ag View FS, Inc., Princeton, Ill. in first place, Lincoln Land FS, Inc., Jacksonville, Ill., Conserv FS, Inc., Woodstock, Ill., and Southern FS, Inc., Marion, Ill.

GROWMARK is a regional co-operative providing agriculture-related products and services, as well as grain marketing in 23 states and the province of Ontario. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member co-operatives. The FS brand represents knowledgeable, experienced professionals acting with integrity and dedication to serve more than 100,000 customers. More information is available at www.growmark.com.

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