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Gay Lea Foods named Large Co-operative of the Year

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited (Gay Lea Foods) is honoured to have been named Large Co-operative of the Year for 2018 by Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), the national association for co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. The award, which recognizes a co‑operative or mutual for its contribution to the sector in Canada and/or internationally, was accepted by Gay Lea Foods Chair, Rob Goodwill, at the annual CMC awards ceremony on June 20 in Victoria, British Columbia.

As a leader in the Canadian dairy industry for more than 60 years, Gay Lea Foods was chosen for its commitment to co-operative education, excellence in governance training, and the values-based decision to keep employment in the communities where its members live. The Committee also recognized Gay Lea Foods’ continued investment in co-operative education, exemplified by the establishment of a collaborative, year-round Co-operative Education Centre at the Gay Lea Dairy Museum in Aylmer, Ontario.

Gay Lea Foods Chair, Rob Goodwill (centre), is pictured with Luc Morin, CMC Board member (left) and Jim Bettcher, CMC Board Member and Chair of the Awards Committee.

Others recognized by CMC in 2018 include the Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia (CHFBC), which was named Small Co-operative of the Year; Kathy Bardswick, who retired as CEO of The Co-operators in 2017 after 39 years of dedicated service and received the Award for Co-operative Excellence, and; Julien Geremie, Deputy Executive Director of the Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario (CCO), who received the Award for Canada’s Emerging Co-operator.

CMC President Doug Potentier welcomed all of 2018’s winners to his hometown in Victoria to receive their awards at a special ceremony, where he remarked, “It is my honour to recognize the incredible work done by these individuals and co-operatives to advance the co-op movement. The contributions we celebrate today, both individual and collective, are the substance and power of the change this movement brings to our communities, to Canada, and the world. Bravo to all.”

Reflecting on the honour, Gay Lea Foods President & CEO, Michael Barrett credited the co-operative’s Board, members, employees and consumers, saying, “this recognition is yours, where values mean more than just value and genuine means more than generosity.”

This is Gay Lea Foods!

About CMC

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada is the national, bilingual association for co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. Through advocacy with the federal government, CMC provides a knowledgeable voice committed to improving the economic and regulatory environment for co‑operatives and mutuals on behalf of our members. CMC’s members come from many sectors of the economy, including finance, insurance, agri-food and supply, wholesale and retail, housing, health, forestry, education, funeral services, public utilities and community development. CMC provides leadership to support, promote, and develop the co-operative economy in Canada. The co-operative and mutual movement in Canada counts more than 18 million memberships from approximately 8,000 co-operative and mutual enterprises.

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