This page is a text version of the RM of Rhineland History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of the RM of Rhineland History Book

Previous - Page 254 or Next - Page 256

Altona's business and industrial mainstays throughout the 1960's and 1970's continued to be D. W. Friesen's and CVO, which later became CSP Foods. Both expanded tremendously during this time and by 1980 D. W. Friesen and Sons was Altona's largest employer. Its head office in Altona had expanded five fold since 1958 bringing the number of its employees to approximately 300. Specializing in stationery, school supplies and specialty printing, D. W. Friesen and Sons had sales outlets across western Canada and did extensive business in eastern Canada and the United States. Even during the recession of the 1980 's Friesen's business was as profitable as ever. 29

The main industry in Altona continued to be Co-op Vegetable Oils which also experienced tremendous growth in the 1960's and 1970's. Between 1960 and 1980 its gross sales increased from two to nearly fifty million dollars and the number of employees more than doubled." Much of this expansion came under the direction of Ray Siemens who was elected president of cva in 1962. Under Siemens' direction the co­ operative began moving away from the imported soy bean crop and began crushing more sunflowers and rapeseed. Rapeseed especially began to require more and more of cva's processing capacity. 31

Continued expansion and the emergence of Canadian competition convinced the cva executive that a broader base was needed to operate in the larger oil seed business arena. It was felt more resources, access and support were needed to enter into more research and merchandiz­ ing." In an effort to solve this problem cva approached Saskpool's plant in Saskatoon, about a possible merger in 1968. The Saskatoon plant was just getting established, however, and was not ready for a merger. Saskpool was also reluctant to get involved with another co-op in Manitoba Pool's territory.

By the 1970's, changing conditions and pressure from provincial governments, who were aggressively promoting the expansion of seed crushing facilities, brought about a merger first with Manitoba Pool Elevators and then with the Saskpool's plant in Saskatoon. This new organization known as Co-operative Seed Producers (CSP Foods) came into existence in 1975 and took over the operation of a number of seed crushing facilities in the two provinces as well as the marketing of the oil seed products. With these mergers CSP expanded operations increasing production another 100 tons a day by 1980 and moved into margarine production and marketing.

While this merger solved a number of business and production problems, it brought to an end a successful tradition of local control. The sense of community ownership dissipated and local participation at annual meetings dropped. A few years after the merger, Ray Siemens,