Co-ops in New Zealand

Top 30 Co-ops

New Zealand Co-operative and Mutual Top 30

Revenue -

Rank Co-operative Revenue (in Millions)
1. Fonterra Co-operative Group 18,845.0
2. Foodstuffs - North Island 6,238.8
3. Foodstuffs - South Island 2,721.3
4. Silver Fern Farms 2,434.4
5. Farmlands Co-operative 2,210.0
6. Alliance Group 1,501.5
7. Zespri 1,458.6
8. Ballance Agri-Nutrients 892.7
9. Southern Cross Medical Care Society 817.8
10. Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative 711.4
11. Mitre 10 (New Zealand) 708.6
12. Westland Co-operative Dairy Co 639.3
13. Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative 398.0
14. Market Gardeners 328.9
15. CDC Pharmaceuticals 293.1
16. Tatua Co-operative Dairy Co 285.7
17. Capricorn Society 261.4
18. Livestock Improvement Corporation 228.4
19. FMG (FMG Insurance Limited) 209.3
20. Southland Building Society (SBS Bank) 183.3
21. NZPM Group 174.8
22. Dairy Goat Cooperative (NZ) 156.7
23. Eastpack 135.2
24. Pharmacy Wholesalers (Bay of Plenty) 132.9
25. Ashburton Trading Society 119.4
26. The Co-operative Bank 110.7
27. Union Medical Benefits Society 52.7
28. Electricity Ashburton 46.8
29. Medical Assurance Society 32.7
30. Co-op Money NZ 24.7
 

Total Revenue = $NZ 42.354 billion pa.

Notes - Organisations were drawn from the 2015 Top 40 Co-operatives and Mutuals by revenue published by Cooperative Business New Zealand and who meet the member/user ownership, control and benefits criteria elaborated on in the methodology. We except this definition excludes some organisations that operate as co-operatives or mutuals in other countries but not in New Zealand since in these instances ownership, control and benefits accrue to the overseas members (e.g. Rabobank). Data on revenue was gathered from annual reports and/or financial statements published by the organisations. These were retrieved from the NZ Companies Office register or from the organisations’ websites. Where annual reports or financial statements were not publically available, the information was sourced by contacting the organisations directly. The reporting period considered was 2014/2015. However, there is some variability in the reporting period/financial year among the co-operatives and mutuals. Revenue for Capricorn Society Limited in New Zealand and Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative are not the revenue figures reported on the Profit and Loss statements. The figures represent the total value of purchases made by respective Members (e.g. retail stores) from their parent company buying offices.  

Assets -

Rank Co-operative Total Assets (in Millions)
1. Fonterra Co-operative Group 18,315.0
2. Southland Building Society (SBS Bank) 2,862.6
3. Foodstuffs - North Island 2,645.6
4. The Co-operative Bank 1,806.3
5. Foodstuffs South Island 1,010.5
6. Silver Fern Farms 627.0
7. Southern Cross Medical Care Society 602.1
8. Ballance Agri-Nutrients 541.8
9. Westland Co-operative Dairy Co 538.1
10. Alliance Group 536.1
11. Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative 533.2
12. Zespri 461.2
13. FMG (FMG Insurance Limited) 419.1
14. Farmlands Co-operative 411.6
15. Livestock Improvement Corporation 301.5
16. Electricity Ashburton 251.1
17. Tatua Co-operative Dairy Co 241.4
18. Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) 232.3
19. Market Gardeners 180.2
20. Mitre 10 (New Zealand) 174.8
21. Eastpack 139.6
22. Co-op Money NZ 115.9
23. Union Medical Benefits Society 112.7
24. NZPM Group 111.4
25. Medical Assurance Society 85.5
26. Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative 68.5
27. CDC Pharmaceuticals 63.3
28. Capricorn Society 35.5
29. Ashburton Trading Society 31.3
30. Pharmacy Wholesalers (Bay of Plenty) 22.4

Total Assets = $ NZ 33,477.7 billion

Notes - Data on total assets was gathered from annual reports and/or financial statements published by the organisations. These were retrieved from the NZ Companies Office register or from the organisations’ websites. Where annual reports or financial statements were not publically available, the information was sourced by contacting the organisations directly. The reporting period considered was 2014/2015. However, there is some variability in the reporting period/financial year among the co-operatives and mutuals.  

Employees -

Rank Co-operative Number of Employees
1. Fonterra Co-operative Group 22,000
2. Silver Fern Farms 7,000
3. Alliance Group 4,700
4. Eastpack 2,700
5. Foodstuffs - North Island 1,800
6. Foodstuffs South Island 1,350
7. Farmlands Co-operative 1,000
8. Ballance Agri-Nutrients 760
9. Southern Cross Medical Care Society 750
10. Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative 750
11. Mitre 10 (New Zealand) 750
12. Livestock Improvement Corporation 710
13. NZPM Group 603
14. FMG (FMG Insurance Limited) 468
15. Westland Co-operative Dairy Co 375
16. Market Gardeners 360
17. Southland Building Society (SBS Bank) 350
18. Tatua Co-operative Dairy Co 345
19. The Co-operative Bank 310
20. Zespri 250
21. Capricorn Society 214
22. Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) 190
23. Electricity Ashburton 175
24. Medical Assurance Society 175
25. CDC Pharmaceuticals 125
26. Ashburton Trading Society 90
27. Co-op Money NZ 60
28. Pharmacy Wholesalers (Bay of Plenty) 35
29. Union Medical Benefits Society 35
30. Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative 25

Total Employees = 48,455

Notes - Data on employees was sourced from annual reports and/or financial statements published by the organisations. These were retrieved from the NZ Companies Office register or from the organisations’ websites. Where data on employee numbers was not available from annual reports, the information was sourced from responses to the University of Auckland Icehouse survey or the Kompass database. Since the Kompass database provides a range for employee numbers, the midpoint of the range was used, and hence the data should be interpreted with caution. The reporting period considered was 2014/2015. However, there is some variability in the reporting period/financial year among the co-operatives and mutuals. Some data includes overseas employees  

Members -

Rank Co-operative Number of Memberships
1. Southern Cross Medical Care Society 811,462
2. Co-op Money NZ 190,000
3. The Co-operative Bank 120,000
4. Farmlands Co-operative 62,500
5. FMG (FMG Insurance Limited) 52,000
6. Southland Building Society (SBS Bank) 40,000
7. Medical Assurance Society 28,000
8. Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative 26,000
9. Ballance Agri-Nutrients 19,250
10. Electricity Ashburton 12,782
11. Fonterra Co-operative Group 10,753
12. Livestock Improvement Corporation 10,537
13. Silver Fern Farms 6,000
14. Alliance Group 5,000
15. Capricorn Society 3,660
16. Zespri 3,000
17. Ashburton Trading Society 2,701
18. NZPM Group 1,000
19. Foodstuffs South Island 500
20. Eastpack 500
21. Foodstuffs - North Island 433
22. Westland Co-operative Dairy Co 400
23. CDC Pharmaceuticals 270
24. Market Gardeners 240
25. Pharmacy Wholesalers (Bay of Plenty) 170
26. Tatua Co-operative Dairy Co 118
27. Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative 94
28. Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) 72
29. Mitre 10 (New Zealand) 65
30. Union Medical Benefits Society

Total Members = 1,407,507

Notes- Data was sourced from annual reports and/or financial statements published by the organisations. These were retrieved from the NZ Companies Office register or from the organisations’ websites. Where data on membership numbers was not available from annual reports or organisations websites, it was supplied by Cooperative Business New Zealand or sourced from responses to the University of Auckland Icehouse survey. These are counts of memberships. We recognise that some members will belong to more than one co-operative or mutual that is listed. Data on individual members is not publicly available to report the number of individual members. The reporting period considered was 2014/2015. However, there is some variability in the reporting period/financial year among the co-operatives and mutuals.

New Zealand’s first recorded co-operative was formed in 1871

While attempts to set up consumer cooperatives have been recorded as early as the 1840s, the earliest record of a producer cooperative in New Zealand reports the formation of the Otago Cooperative Cheese Co. at John Mathieson’s Springfield farm on the Otago Peninsula, near Dunedin, on 22 August 1871.

Springfield

Each of the eight dairy farmers purchased shares based on the amount of milk to be supplied, with each share having a value of £1 and representing the supply of ten quarts of milk.

Three enamelled cast-iron tubs, each holding up to 50 pounds of curd, were set in the kitchen wing, while a wooden vat holding 100 gallons of milk was installed in the stone-walled barn across the driveway. By the end of the first season, they had produced three tons of cheese.

According to the Historic Places Trust, this was most likely the first cooperative dairy factory in the southern hemisphere, preceded only by those in Norway and Swizerland.

By 1900, there were 111 cooperatives in the dairy industry and 152 investor-owned companies.

The general principles adopted by this cooperative were typical of those which have prevailed in cooperative societies and companies through to the present day.


 

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