200 Calgary jobs eliminated as Calgary Co-op switches food suppliers

Calgary Co-op shoppers will see changes on the grocery store shelves next spring. .
Calgary Co-op shoppers will see changes on the grocery store shelves next spring. . Michael King/Global News

Federated Co-operatives Limited announced on Thursday that over 200 jobs would be eliminated in Calgary as a result of Calgary Co-op’s decision to source its groceries elsewhere.

Calgary Co-op said earlier this year it had selected a new food distribution partner, switching from Saskatoon-based FCL to the Alberta-based distribution arm of Save-On-Foods.

The move means FCL will be closing its Calgary Food Distribution Centre as of April 2020.

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

FCL had said previously that 200 jobs would be directly impacted, but specified Thursday the impact would be layoffs.

“We’re deeply saddened by this avoidable development,” FCL spokesperson Vic Huard said in a news release. “In a city that’s already experiencing significant economic challenges, Calgary Co-op’s decision has led to more jobs being lost, and more families facing challenges.

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“By aligning itself with a competitor, Calgary Co-op has directly and negatively impacted our employees, their families and Calgary’s economy.”

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READ MORE: Calgary Co-op buys Community Natural Foods grocery stores

FCL said the move from Calgary Co-op will result in a $400 million reduction in the company’s revenue, negatively impacting returns to local co-ops across Western Canada.

“There’s been a Co-op warehouse in Calgary for 70 years, and we know that the negative repercussions of this decision will be felt for a long time in Calgary,” Huard said.

“Calgary Co-op members have contacted us asking how this decision to move to a competitor happened without Calgary Co-op’s members being consulted. That’s not something we can answer—it’s really a question they need to ask the CEO and board of the co-op that they, as members, own.”

READ MORE: No more plastic bags in Calgary Co-op stores as of January 2020

FCL said products for other co-ops in Alberta and B.C. will gradually be shipped through other FCL warehouses in Edmonton and Saskatoon.