Title: Agricore Cooperative Ltd. fonds.
Dates: 1925-2001, predominant 1998-2001.
Extent: 10 m of textual records and other material.
Administrative history: Agricore Cooperative Ltd. was created November 1, 1998, through the friendly merger of Alberta Wheat Pool Ltd. and Manitoba Pool Elevators. It existed for only three years, then merged with United Grain Growers to form Agricore United in November 2001. Before the merger, it was one of the largest agribusinesses in Western Canada. Moreover, as Agricore United is a publicly traded company, Agricore can be seen as the last of the farmer-owned cooperatives, a movement that significantly altered prairie-farming practices in the twentieth century. Agricore officially began operations on November 1, 1998. Extensive preparations were made to ensure that a seamless transition occurred when the two historic cooperatives became one new entity. Winnipeg was selected as the head office and staff was shifted accordingly. In late 1999, Agricore weathered its first serious crisis when the cooperative's unionized staff went on strike. The next year and a half saw Agricore expand its business in a variety of ways including the establishment of high throughput elevators in Elva, Manitoba and at the junctions of highway 3 and 14 between Morden and Winkler, in Manitoba. Though wheat and grain prices in 1999-2000 reached historic lows, Agricore managed to increase earnings and further enhance its reputation as one of western Canada's most influential agribusinesses. On July 30, 2001, Agricore announced that the boards of both UGG and Agricore had unanimously agreed to a merger that would create a new company, Agricore United, which would be modeled after UGG's share structure. On November 1, 2001, the merger took place and Agricore, the last of the prairie cooperatives, ceased to exist.
Custodial history: University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections acquired the records of Agricore on November 6, 2001. The gift of ten metres of unprocessed material was sent from the Agricore head office in Winnipeg to the University of Manitoba under the stewardship of archivist Brian Hubner.
Scope and content: The fonds includes materials compiled by the two companies that merged to form Agricore, Alberta Wheat Pool (AWP) and Manitoba Pool Elevators (MPE). AWP and MPE materials include annual reports, policy reports, and policy manuals. The majority of the materials concern the creation and functioning of Agricore as a company during the three years it existed. These materials include annual reports, Agricore publications, policy manuals, news clippings related to Agricore, and other administrative materials. In addition to traditional textual materials, the fonds includes 6 Agricore maps, assorted Agricore ephemera, 36 video cassettes, 74 audio cassettes, and 6 audio compact discs.
Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.
Accruals: As Agricore merged with United Grain Growers on November 1, 2001 to form Agricore United, no further accruals of records explicitly dealing with Agricore are expected.
Related material: United Grain Growers Ltd. fonds (Mss 76, Pc 83, Tc 96); records of Alberta Wheat Pool Ltd. are held by Glenbow Museum Archives and records of Manitoba Pool Elevators are held by S.J. McKee Archives at Brandon University.
Finding aid: Printed finding aid available in Archives reading room. Online finding aid available at the link below: