The new agri-food market scenario is considered a detrimental factor for the competitiveness and financial equilibria of the agricultural cooperatives. According to this vision, as a result of the saturation and globalization process, the shift of the specific investment at the forward level of the supply chain (i.e., for the brand development, or for R&D activities) would be a serious threat for the cooperative model.
These assumptions come from a transaction cost and property rights-based framework. The results of these studies are surely insightful and valuable, but they should be integrated with the strengths in terms of knowledge integration (and coordination) assured by the agricultural cooperative model. This work is aimed at updating the function/justification of modern agricultural cooperatives. Firstly, a theoretical contribution mingling the knowledge-based theory of the firm with the social innovation approach in agriculture will be defined. Secondly, two case studies will be discussed.Download .PDF