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Member Commitment and the Market and Financial Performance of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool


  • Lang, K.A.
  • Fulton, Murray E.


Since 2001 several of the largest agricultural co-operatives in Western Canada and the United States have battled impending bankruptcy or ceased operations. In February 2001 Dairyworld Foods was bought out by Montreal dairy processor and cheese producer Saputo Inc. (Saputo; Toronto Stock Exchange). In November 2001, Agricore, formed through a 1998 merger of Alberta Wheat Pool Ltd. and Manitoba Pool Elevators, merged with United Grain Growers to form Agricore United (Agricore United). In the United States, AgWay and Farmland Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002 (Reuters, 2000), while the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (hereinafter referred to as SWP or the Pool) underwent a massive debt restructuring in 2003 after four years of consecutive multi-million dollar net losses (SWP Annual Report, 2003). This decline in the market and financial performance of agricultural co-operatives has been associated with a decline in the commitment of the members to their co-operatives (Fulton, 1999; Fulton and Giannakas, 2001; Richards, Klein and Walburger, 1998; Burt and Wirth, 1990). The purpose of this article is to examine the market and financial performance of one of a number of co-operatives that have faced recent financial and market hardships, and to link this performance to member commitment. Specifically, the article examines whether the Pool’s declining market and financial performance is consistent with the predictions that emerge from a model that examines the impact of falling member commitment in a co-operative.

Suggested Citation

  • Lang, K.A. & Fulton, Murray E., 2004. "Member Commitment and the Market and Financial Performance of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 05.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cafric:46018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burt, Lawrence A. & Wirth, Myron E., 1990. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Farm Supply Cooperatives: A Comparison of Farmer and Manager Viewpoints," Journal of Agricultural Cooperation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, vol. 5.
    2. Richards, Timothy J. & Klein, Kurt K. & Walburger, Allan M., 1998. "Principal-Agent Relationships in Agricultural Cooperatives: An Empirical Analysis from Rural Alberta," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 13.
    3. Murray Fulton & Konstantinos Giannakas, 2001. "Organizational Commitment in a Mixed Oligopoly: Agricultural Cooperatives and Investor-Owned Firms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1258-1265.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barraud-Didier, Valérie & Henninger, Marie-Christine & El Akremi, Assâad, 2012. "The Relationship Between Members’ Trust and Participation in the Governance of Cooperatives: The Role of Organizational Commitment," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 15(1).
    2. Viergutz, Tim & Zubek, Nana & Schulze-Ehlers, Birgit, 2016. "How Spatial Pricing Affects Cooperative Members’ Switching Decisions," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244772, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Fulton, Murray & Larson, Kathy A., 2009. "Overconfidence and Hubris: The Demise of Agricultural Co-operatives in Western Canada," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 37(2).
    4. Lamprinakis, Lampros & Fulton, Murray E., 2011. "Mental Frames and Organizational Decision-making: Facing the Challenges of Change," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114407, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Valérie Barraud-Didier & Marie-Christine Henninger & Pierre Triboulet, 2014. "La Participation des Adhérents Dans Leurs Coopératives Agricoles: Une Étude Exploratoire du Secteur Céréalier Français," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 62(1), pages 125-148, March.

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