Board Candidate Profile: Tajinder Grewal

Tajinder Grewal

Tajinder’s work in the agriculture and food industry, background in farming, and love for and service to the Saskatoon community make him an ideal candidate for the Saskatoon Co-op Board. We are thrilled to endorse Tajinder as a board candidate in the upcoming Saskatoon Co-op AGM.

Can you tell us a bit about who you are?

I have a B.Sc. Agriculture (Hons.), M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Agriculture. I currently work at SGS Canada as a Chief Scientist and Head of the Genomics Lab. Prior to that I was a Research Officer at the University of Saskatchewan. I was born and raised in a farming family, where I developed a passion for agriculture that led me to become a Professional Agrologist with Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. I am also a member of various national and international professional organizations, such as the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) where I have been a member of the GMO committee since 2010.

I have been an active member of many sports, cultural and community organizations for over two decades, including sitting on the Boards of the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, Immigrant Access Fund of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Senior Support Service. I helped start the Saskatoon Field Hockey Club in 2003 and served as treasurer from 2003-2020. I strongly believe in serving and being involved in our community, and have volunteered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Miles for Smiles (Children’s Hospital Foundation) as a fundraiser, the Commuter Challenge, the Pharmacy and Nutrition Speech Craft program, and as an assistant coach for my son’s U14 soccer team. I also played a significant role in the establishment of Punjabi Cultural Association of Saskatchewan (PCAS) in 2004, and have taken on the responsibilities of several executive positions in PCAS, including President. PCAS has successfully preserved, promoted, and educated youth about Punjabi language, cultural arts and traditions.

As well, I have participated and collaborated with other cultural organizations to promote multiculturalism and diversity in Canada.

I believe in giving back, and in working with others.

What is your connection to the Saskatoon Co-Op?

My wife, Ravinder, and I have lived in Saskatoon with our son, Ravtei, since 1999. We have been members and loyal customers of the Saskatoon Co-op since our arrival here. I strongly believe in cooperative values such as democracy, fairness, equality, social responsibility and caring for others.

Beyond the community aspect of Co-op, I have always praised the quality of the food and friendliness of the staff at all Co-op locations in Saskatoon.

Can you tell us what you see ahead as ways to grow our Co-Op and how you could contribute to that?

Agriculture and food are necessities for human beings. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that we can survive without many things, but food and essential items are not one of them. I believe it is important for Co-op to grow its business in the agriculture and food industry to provide the best quality and affordable food to its
members, workers and customers.

Co-op is uniquely positioned in that the focus is on supplying the community with food and other essentials, rather than only chasing profits. This allows them to balance food quality and affordability better than discount grocery chains with subpar food quality at extremely low prices and overpriced specialty grocery stores that are not sustainable options for most middle-class families in Saskatchewan.

My work in academia (University of Saskatchewan), government (Saskatchewan Research Council), and the private sector has specifically dealt with growing higher quality crops/food at a lower cost. I will bring this experience to share with the Board.

What are some other interests you have?

I have been active in provincial politics, serving as Vice-President of Saskatchewan NDP from 2016 to 2019. I was also a NDP provincial candidate for the 2016 and 2020 Elections.

In addition to my professional and volunteer work, I love dancing, reading, playing field hockey and being an active community member.

If you have questions related to Co-op and Tajinder Grewal’s board candidacy, he may be reached at tajinderg@hotmail.com.