Five Canadian Co-ops Become Member-Owners of The Co-operators

GUELPH, ON, Jan. 9 2008 – The Co-operators Group Ltd. is pleased to announce an expansion of its membership as five co-operatives recently became member-owners of the organization. A total of 46 Canadian co-ops, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations now comprise the co-operative ownership group, following The Co-operators Board of Directors’ approval of membership applications from Co-operative Auto Network, Farmers Co-operative Dairy Ltd., Granny’s Poultry Cooperative Ltd., Organic Meadow Co-operative Inc., and United Community Services Co-op.

“These new members are warmly welcomed, as they enhance the diversity of our membership and bring new perspectives and expertise to our governance,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “They are all very successful organizations whose commitment to co-operative principles is unwavering. The Co-operators is a stronger organization today because of their membership.”

Founded in Vancouver in 1997, Co-operative Auto Network is a not-for-profit co-operative that fosters car sharing as an environmentally responsible transportation option. With more than 4,200 members, it is the largest car sharing co-op in Canada.

Farmers Co-operative Dairy represents milk producers throughout Atlantic Canada. Incorporated in 1961, the co-op’s mission is to operate a profitable dairy enterprise, demonstrating leadership and innovation in processing, packing and marketing its members’ products.

Granny’s Poultry Cooperative’s history goes back more than 50 years, and it was officially incorporated in 1979. Today Manitoba-based Granny’s is a primary and secondary poultry processor with more than 200 producer members comprising chicken, turkey and hatching egg producers.

Organic Meadow was formed in 1989 to provide an opportunity for organic farmers in Ontario to collectively store, process and market organically-grown products. The co-operative now represents more than 100 family farms that produce milk, egg, grains and oilseeds.

United Community Services Co-op represents more than 100 non-profit and charitable organizations in British Columbia. The organizations are directly or indirectly engaged in community, social or health services throughout the province.

Co-operatives are organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by the members who use its services or products. The Co-operators members are a diverse group that represent all regions of Canada and a variety of sectors: agriculture, financial, service, retail/consumer, health, and labour.

About The Co-operators:

Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of more than $7 billion. It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.