Calgary Co-op changing food suppliers to Save-On-Foods; 200 jobs will be ‘directly impacted’

Calgary Co-op changing food suppliers to Save-On-Foods
WATCH: When Calgary Co-op changes over to Save-On-Foods products in April 2020, its current supplier says most of the 200 employees of its local warehouse will be impacted. Michael King reports.

Calgary Co-op shoppers will see changes on grocery store shelves come spring of next year, as the chain gets a new food supplier.

“We have selected a new food distribution partner, the Alberta-based distribution arm of Save-On-Foods, to supply many of the products to our food stores beginning in spring of 2020,” Co-op said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

On the Co-op website, Calgary Co-op said it advised Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) of the switch, which would be effective in April 2020.

READ MORE: It’s Alberta beef only at Calgary Co-op stores

All the stores, besides the one in High River, will see the change, which the company said will “help ensure the long-term viability of Calgary Co-op.”

“Our research shows shoppers care about product assortment, value, quality, community, and a positive overall shopping experience,” the grocery store said.

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Co-op said shoppers can expect to see: a more tailored assortment of goods that focus on local, healthy and convenient products, a new member-exclusive flyer and new Co-op branded products. Co-op said it plans to continue working with local producers and growers to put local products on the shelves.

The shift means about 200 jobs will be directly impacted in Calgary’s distribution centre and zone office, according to FCL executive vice-president Vic Huard. Huard said there would also be job impacts at the head office in Saskatoon, but did not say how many.

“It puts Calgary Co-op in a situation where they’re sourcing from a direct competitor, which for us, to be honest, raises all sorts of questions about the long term,” Huard said.

“It also puts significant pressure on those other Co-ops across Alberta and across the west who are determined to remain in the food business.”

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Calgary Co-op said it has already hired a number of new people to help with the transition but didn’t say whether it was hiring any of the individuals whose jobs would be impacted by the shift.

“This is a positive story for Calgary Co-op and furthers our long-term plans, which we believe will add additional team members to our staff over the long term,” Co-op said.

Calgary Co-op intends to continue buying petroleum from FCL.

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— With files from Global News’ Michael King