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Innovation, Business and Rural Development
October 1, 2012

Value of Co-operatives Embraced at Agreement Signing

The role of co-operatives in the Provincial Government’s economic and business development agenda has been strengthened with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives on Saturday, September 29.

“Co-operative development, through our close working relationship with the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives, is a key aspect of our government’s approach to business and economic development,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “It is our view that through this partnership we can derive maximum benefits from co-operatives and further support industry and community development.”

The five-year agreement was signed at the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives annual general meeting and International Year of Co-operatives Conference. This agreement builds off the progress made in the 2007 MOU between the Provincial Government and the federation, which positioned this province as a leader in Canada for its working relationship with the provincial co-operative business association.

“The renewal of our partnership agreement with the Provincial Government is an important step forward in continuing support for the growth and development of the co-operative sector in the province,” said Gail Pike, President of the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives. “The Memorandum of Understanding we signed will ensure the continued availability of programs and services that will enhance the role co-operative enterprises play in the community economic development process. We thank Minster Hutchings and his department for their ongoing support.”

The new agreement applies best practices stemming from the original MOU and adds value to the co-operative development process. It also outlines an advanced framework to better identify and capitalize on new opportunities through the Provincial Government’s internationally-recognized Business, Retention and Expansion Program, along with linkages to targeted support mechanisms.

“As a department, we have grown the scope of our programs and services to support the needs of businesses and community organizations focused on economic development,” said Minister Hutchings. “This new agreement reflects that evolution and the principles that this government embraces – co-operation for economic gain.”

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives. The designation acknowledges the value of co-operatives in stimulating economic activity, responding to social change, and creating employment opportunities in various industry sectors.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
Glen Fitzpatrick
Managing Director
Newfoundland-Labrador Federation
of Co-operatives

2012 10 01                                       9:35 a.m.

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