May 10th, 2007 - News

Recycling program will turn fleece jackets into raw fibre
In a first among Canadian retailers, Mountain Equipment Co-op(TM) (MEC) has introduced a garment recycling program for polyester-based clothing into its stores. The program is another step in the outdoor retailer's commitment to sustainability. Under the program, consumers will be able to deposit such things as fleece jackets and pants that contain at least 90 per cent polyester content at one of MEC's eleven stores across Canada. "This program is a simple but profound example of how seriously we take the need to develop sustainable business practices," said Gary Faryon, MEC's senior manager of operations. "It's truly a closed-loop approach."

Pool wins battle
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. has won the battle for Canada's largest grainhandling company, Agricore United, with an all-cash offer of $20.50 per Agricore share, or nearly $2 billion in total. The Pool announced Wednesday that Agricore's board of directors had unanimously voted in favour of the Pool's bid over a competing bid by James Richardson International (JRI) of Winnipeg, which withdrew its offer of $19.25. As part of the transaction, the Pool agreed to sell certain Agricore assets, including three grain elevators and three agri-products centres in Saskatchewan, to JRI for $315 million. Agricore will also pay JRI a termination fee of $35 million.

The entrepreneurs of Regent Park: Rotman school finds fledgling companies inside a neighbourhood of social housing
Living in Cabbagetown, Michael Hartman and his neighbours were wary of the residents south of Gerrard St. E., and the sprawling social housing experiment gone awry, Regent Park. Instead of continuing the chorus of harrumphing, the assistant dean and managing director of executive programs at Joseph L. Rotman School of Management decided to cross the street. He took his business skills with him. He found people with ideas, eager students for the Rotman Entrepreneurial School, a six-week course held in the spring for residents of Regent Park to learn how to create their own small businesses. The school, now in its second year, accepts about 30 students and is run with the Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative.

St. Albert's famous cheese factory is hoping to milk its new 'sympathetic cow' logo for all it's worth
What's black and white, elongated and very cheesy? That would be the St. Albert Co-Operative Cheese Factory's new logo, which the business introduced after 35 years of wrapping its popular products in much more subdued packaging. In company surveys conducted across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, including Ottawa, Cornwall and Hawkesbury, about 90% of respondents said they were familiar with St. Albert cheese and "adored" the various award-winning products, company executives Rejean Ouimet and Gilles Verdon said as the nameless Holstein cow logo was rolled out at the factory Tuesday.

However, customers said they had trouble picking the St. Albert brand off the store shelves because the subtle packaging blended in with the offerings of other cheese makers. In a $150,000 makeover and publicity campaign, a Montreal consulting firm was hired to design the oddly bullish "sympathetic cow." The St. Albert board also decided to emphasize on its plastic packages the fact that it's a co-operative with strong agricultural values and that its cheese is made with 100% pure milk containing no modified ingredients.