Pioneer Co-op has its members to thank for the award they received last week.

Last Friday's Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards (SCBEX) saw many businesses recognized for the roles they play in the Swift Current region. Pioneer Co-op has the unique claim that their award this year can be attributed to their members from across the 19 communities they are based in across southwest Saskatchewan.

Winning the Member Business Award for 2022, Pioneer Co-op indeed fits the bill with its nearly 23,000 members.

Receiving the award on the night of the ceremonies were various members of the Co-op's board of directors, including the Chair of the Board, Uli Cartman.

"The original members had a vision. The vision was to create a growing association, for the sale of goods and services, for the benefit of its members," shared Cartman. "This award venerates their vision."

Indeed Pioneer Co-op is the one-stop shop for many of the goods and services an individual may need. Of course, there's fuel and groceries, but they also have clothing, hardware, pharmaceuticals, home decor, and even plumbing services.

All these goods and services are for the benefit of the communities their members live in.

"Our vision is still to provide goods and services as well as innovation to benefit our members," said Cartman. "We have not yet reached our potential. Our vision is still going forward."

This award recognizes the work they do for their members and will be a badge of honour they display going forwards. The plan is to display it in their administrative offices, with them even having plans to bring up the award at their fall conference, which sees representatives from every Cooperative in western Canada in attendance.

Since starting in 1936, Pioneer Co-op has continued to not only provide goods and services but also employment in the southwest. Cartman attributes Pioneer Co-ops' positive reception over the years to the local faces that make up their roster.

"Our staff has been and continues to be our strong point," praised Cartman. "Anybody can sell things and everybody has products, but it's the staff, who we are and what we are in the community, that's how the community perceives us."