Fonds MSS 150 - Agricore Cooperative Ltd. fonds

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Agricore Cooperative Ltd. fonds

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  • 1925-2001, predominant 1998-2001 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

10 m of textual records. cfghfhb
6 maps.
36 video cassettes.
74 audio cassettes.
6 compact discs.

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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.

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Administrative history

The Alberta Wheat Pool, a voluntary cooperative organization, was incorporated in 1923 to create stability in the wheat market in response to a downward trend in wheat and farm prices in 1920-1923. Its first president was Henry Wise Wood. The pool, from its first office in Calgary, became one of the largest grain-handling cooperatives in Canada. Owned and controlled by its members, it operated country grain elevators across Alberta and northeast British Columbia. It handled approximately two-thirds of Alberta's grain exports. In addition to its original mandate of enabling farmers to bargain collectively with grain buyers, the AWP also provided grain services for members including storage and handling, grain merchandising, fertilizer and seed grain sales, farm equipment, financing, and agricultural research. It has also ensured farmers a voice in the formation of national grain-marketing policies and has been involved in the establishment of the Canadian Wheat Board. On November 1, 1998 the Wheat Pool merged with Manitoba Pool Elevators to form Agricore. In 2001 Agricore merged with United Grain Growers Ltd. to form Agricore United. In 2007 Agricore United was purchased by the Saskatchewan Wheat Poll and the new company was rebranded to be known as Viterra. For further information see Tides in the West / Leonard D. Nesbitt. - Saskatoon : Modern Press, 1962.

Name of creator


Administrative history

The forerunner of Manitoba Pool Elevators, Manitoba Wheat Pool, was created in 1924 as a mechanism to allow for the co-operative marketing of wheat by Manitoba producers.Such an approach promised to stabilize the market price of grain and ensure a fair market price to producers.Initially the Pool was very successful. However, in 1930, the Manitoba Wheat Pool found itself burdened with an unsold surplus from the preceding year that had been bought from the farmers at a price that was significantly higher than any possible return during the depression. As a result, in 1931 the Pool's Central Selling Agency defaulted on its bank loans. Despite attempts to save the organization, it was forced to declare bankruptcy in November 1932. A subsidiary, Manitoba Pool Elevators Limited, remained active. In this way, the Manitoba Pool was transformed into an co-operatively owned elevator company. Following the Great Depression, Manitoba Pool Elevators expanded operations and initiated new co-operative business ventures. On November 1, 1998 Manitoba Pool Elevators merged with Alberta Wheat Pool Ltd. to create Agricore Cooperative Ltd.

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.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

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There are no restrictions on this material.

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Finding aids

Printed finding aid available in Archives reading room. Online finding aid available at the link below:

Associated materials

United Grain Growers Ltd. fonds Mss 76, Pc 83, Tc 96 (A.90-35, A.90-70, A.92-04, A.92-06, A.92-09, A.92-11, A.92-13, A.92-17, A.95-15, A.95-41, A.01-10), 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.

Related materials


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.

Alternative identifier(s)



Photograph Collection

PC 156

Tape Collection

TC 102

Map Collection

MC 6

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