The Co-operative was established in 1918 by the sheep industry as a national system of collecting and marketing its members' wool on a co-operative basis. This meant that regardless of the size of the wool clip, the time of year received or distance from the market, each member was paid the same price for the same grade of wool. Being merely an instrument of the growers, the company operates quite simply. It collects, grades, measures and markets the producers wool and after deducting the cost of operations returns the entire difference to the growers.
The Co-operative grades and markets approximately 3 million pounds of raw wool each year; the majority of this coming from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. Each of the three general classes of wool (fine, medium and coarse) are sold wherever the best price is available, China is a major buyer.
Wool is received directly from the producer by way of truck or rail. It is then graded according to type classification, quality and method of preparation. Wool of similar types and quality are hydraulically packed in bales weighing up to 1,200 pounds.
In addition to handling wool, the Co-operative operates Stockman's Supply outlets across the country and a Real Wool Shop at Carleton Place. The Co-operative also publishes an annual magazine entitled The Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Magazine which is designed to assist the wool producer with information and a mail order catalogue for livestock supplies, equestrian products & clothing. – less