Agrico buys stake in Alberta input retail chain


The wholesale crop input arm of Quebec’s La Coop federee has expanded its retail reach further west on the Prairies with a stake in a central Alberta input retailer group.

Agrico Canada, part of the Quebec federation of ag co-ops since 2011, last week announced a deal to buy a 50 per cent interest in the Crop Management Network, effective Nov. 6, for an undisclosed sum.

The Crop Management Network includes locally-owned retail operations at Edberg, Daysland, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan, Holden and, as of this fall, Camrose, plus a distribution and delivery firm, Sjogren Logistics.

Agrico said in its release the Crop Management Network “business structure, people, vision and customer service that clients have come to know and trust… will remain intact.”

Company contacts, brands and names will continue unchanged and Crop Management Network CEO James Mitchell will also still manage the business, Agrico said.

The Crop Management Network morphed out of the opening of Edberg Crop Management in 2007, followed by the opening of a rail transload facility in 2012, blending and offloading fertilizer for its retail outlets. Edberg then bought Sjogren Logistics, with its fleet of what’s now 10 trucks, in 2013.

Edberg’s partners launched Daysland Crop Management in 2014 and in 2015 bought Fort Saskatchewan retailer Superior Agri Services, which set up shop in 1987 and is now branded as Superior Crop Management.

The Edberg partners in 2015 also bought Vegreville retailer Prairie Crop Management, which set up in 2004 and is now branded Vegreville Crop Management.

Agrico “is very committed to the joint venture strategy and the company’s expansion in the West,” general manager Bill Wilford said in last week’s release.

Agrico in 2016 expanded its retail space in southeastern Saskatchewan with deals for Independent Ag of Montmartre in May, and full ownership of a joint-venture partner, Sharpe’s Soil Services of Moosomin, in March.

Mississauga-based Agrico still holds joint-venture positions in other ag retail businesses in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and maintains an office at Oak Bluff, just southwest of Winnipeg. It also operates regional-scale fertilizer terminals in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Minnesota. — Network


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