WCM | Exploring the co-operative economy – Report 2014
Quebec City, October 2014. The International Co-operative Alliance (the Alliance) – with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) – launches the 2014 report of its global statistical project: The World Co-operative Monitor.
This third edition of the Report, analyzing data from 2012, highlights the impact of the co-operative sector across the globe. We see evidence of a sector in constant growth, able to withstand the global financial crisis, positively influencing the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world.
The top 300 of these co-operatives are ranked based on turnover as well as the ratio of turnover to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, relating the turnover of the co-operative to the purchasing power of the country in which it operates in a comparable way. Additional analysis in the report includes an overall description of the 2014 database and sectorial rankings based on turnover as well as the ratio of turnover to GDP per capita.
The database contains data collected through an online questionnaire addressed directly to co-operative and mutual organizations. That data is also integrated with existing databases and other data collected by national associations, research institutes, sectorial organizations and others.
For the purposes of the World Co-operative Monitor, organizations have been classified as follows:
Key findings from the 2014 World Co-operative Monitor:
Overall, data was collected on 1,926 cooperatives from 65 countries with a total turnover in 2012 of 2,623.1 billion USD. The co-operatives are distributed among eight sectors, Agriculture and Food Industries and Insurance being the two largest. Co-operatives with a turnover over 100 million USD comprise 68% of the overall database.
In the database this year we note an increase in co-operatives from Asia and Africa and count among the total countries in the entire database 16 that were not represented in the previous year: Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Iran, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Latvia, Morocco, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russian Federation, and Slovakia.
Top 300 co-operative and mutual organisations by turnover
The composition of the top 10 co-operatives in the top 300 ranking by turnover shows slight variations with respect to the previous year, with Zenkyoren confirming its position at number one.
In terms of total turnover, the three editions of the World Co-operative Monitor report (based on data from 2010, 2011, and 2012) evidence an 11.6% increase in total turnover of the top 300 co-operatives studied from 2010 to 2012.
Top 300 co-operative and mutual organisations by turnover/GDP per capita
In this ranking there are more Asian co-operatives in the top 10 with respect to the top 10 by turnover, with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) occupying the top position.
The 2014 World Co-operative Monitor report was produced by a team of researchers at Euricse with the scientific support of a committee of international experts and scientists and made possible with the support of our organizational partners: Fundación Espriu, U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) and OCB System.
The benefits of the yearly World Co-operative Monitor include the opportunities to:
- raise the profile of co-operatives within their own industries and countries, as well as internationally;
- demonstrate the economic and social importance of co-operatives and mutuals to government and regulatory agencies;
- model good practices and highlight successful co-operative business models and innovative approaches; and
- create networks between co-operatives and mutuals for greater sharing of information, business intelligence, and business opportunities.
The World Co-operative Monitor can serve as a useful tool to researchers and practitioners around the world. As stated by Johnston Birchall, Professor of Social Policy, Stirling University (UK):
In the autumn of 2013, Co-operatives UK asked me to write a report on the governance of large co-operative businesses. Because of the governance failure in the UK’s largest consumer co-operative, Co-operative Group, critics were saying that large co-operatives in general might be ungovernable, and we needed to know if the crisis was just confined to the Group. Without the World Co-operative Monitor I would have had nowhere to start! I would have just done a few case studies of familiar organisations, with perhaps predictable conclusions. Instead I was able to select a more scientific sample of the top 60 co-operatives (the top 10 listed in each of six industry sectors) and do a much more satisfactory study. It showed that there is no wider crisis, and that the Group’s problems stem from its peculiar history and unique governance structure. I want to encourage researchers to use the Monitor. It is not perfect, but by using it we can spot mistakes and suggest improvements. It provides us with a much more objective starting point for our research than we would otherwise have. It is a valuable resource – use it or lose it!
The success of the project cannot, however, ignore the contribution of co-operatives, who can actively participate in the project by completing the questionnaire at www.monitor.coop.
Download the Executive Summary: WCM | Exploring the co-operative economy – Report 2014