Co-ops on a global scale

Did you know that at least 12% of all people on earth is a co-operator with at least one of the world’s 3,000,000 co-operatives? That includes one in every three Kiwis. The sheer scale of the global co-operative movement is awesome with co-ops employing one in ten workers – that’s 280,000,000 people. And, as the World Co-operative Monitor confirmed, the world’s top 300 co-ops and mutuals reported annual turnover of more than US$2,100,000,000,000.

The International Cooperative Alliance, of which Cooperative Business NZ is a member, has produced five videos in a series called Around The World. Featuring co-operatives in Italy, Morocco and Rwanda, while these are vastly different countries and local economies, the seven Rochdale Principles remain the same: Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Continuing Co-op Education, Co-operation Among Co-ops, and Concern for Communities. The videos show co-operatives providing hope, peace and stability for those in need with jobs, shelter, food and education. As co-operatives, they give back to their local communities. As people, they work together within a business model that has sustainability and endurance at its core.

Balu Iyer presents at 2019 Leaders’ Forum

Balu Iyer, Director General Asia Pacific - International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), was a special guest presenter at our Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum held at Auckland’s Fonterra Centre on 26 February 2019.

Global co-op movement meets in Rwanda

Co-operative News reports that the Global Conference of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Cooperatives for Development, is under way in Kigali, Rwanda. An estimated 1,000 representatives from 94 countries will explore how the movement can help to drive sustainable development. READ MORE

Seven NZ Co-ops in World’s Top 300

Seven NZ co-operatives now appear in the world’s top 300 as announced last week at the ICA’s General Assembly held in Buenos Aires. The world’s top 300 co-ops now have a combined turnover of just over US$2.0 trillion according to the latest edition of the World Co-operative Monitor, this based on 2016 revenues. Here are the rankings of NZ’s co-ops:

  • Fonterra: 36th largest
  • Foodstuffs North Island: 104th
  • Foodstuffs South Island: 180th
  • Zespri: 215th
  • Silver Fern Farms: 221st
  • Farmlands: 223rd
  • Alliance Group: 281st

The world’s largest co-op is Credit Agricole (France) with $US90.2 billion revenue pa.

Now in its 7th year, the World Co-op Monitor report is produced by the ICA with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse). The monitor collected data for 2,575 organisations from eight sectors of activity, 1,157 of which have a turnover of over US$100m.

The world’s top 300 co-ops, including mutuals and societies, operate in different sectors: insurance (32%), agriculture (35%), wholesale and retail trade (19%), banking and financial services (8%), industry and utilities (2%), health, education and social care (2%) and other services (2%).

New this year is an analysis of the contribution of the world’s largest co-operatives towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development agenda. The monitor examines documents reported to the UN Global Compact project and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Participants in the United Nations Global Compact are required to produce and submit online an annual report entitled Communication on Progress (CoP) that outlines the efforts to operate responsibly and support society. Within the GRI, co-operatives can upload their sustainability report to the online database of the project specifying whether or not the report was compiled using GRI indicators. According to the Monitor, 33 CoPs and 58 sustainability reports were collected from 75 co-operative organisations.

In 2012 the World Co-op Monitor stated that NZ was one of the most cooperative economies in the world based on revenue as a % of GDP, this figure now approaching 20%.

Co-operatives and mutuals are a truly international success story and you can keep track of how they’re doing online.

UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015 the United Nations signed off on 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be met by 2030 in order to ensure a more sustainable planet economically, environmentally and socially. It is widely recognized that the co-operative business model, and scale of the co-op sector globally with 3 million co-ops now employing almost 10% of the world’s employed population, is the most closely aligned and best placed to support the UN in reaching these goals.

The UN’s Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) seeks to provide leadership and catalyse action in promoting and co-ordinating implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among other mandates, it hosts the secretariat for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the central platform within the United Nations system for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by Heads of State and Governments in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda is a new plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, with 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets at its core (please click on each goal to see these targets as well as progress that has been made against each since Sept 2015).

Here is the link to the sustainable development knowledge platform:  Sustainable Development

NZ’s Co-operatives, Collaboration and Support for the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Transforming Our World: The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and How NZ Co-ops Can Help



ICA_logoThe International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) provides a comprehensive website featuring a host of useful information, news and events.

coop_news_logoCo-operative News is a UK-based online channel dedicated to profiling the news and views of the international co-operative community. It featured Kiwi co-ops in its February article New Zealand’s co-operative sector continues to grow.

There are several websites published by national co-operative associations and others which you may find interesting:

United Kingdom(Great Britain) coop_uk_logo United Kingdom
United States of America(USA) ncba_logo USA
Australia bccm_logo Australia
Canada cca_logo Canada
Netherlands Dutch Cooperative Association in Tax Planning Netherlands
India ccnpos_logo India
ICA_logo South America
Nova Scotia Business Association (Canada)
Co-operative education

Member-based enterprises: The spotlight on financial services co-operatives

Professor Dr Hans Groeneveld

Professor Dr
Hans Groeneveld

Prof. dr. Hans Groeneveld is (distinguished) Professor of Cooperative Financial Services at a leading Dutch university and also Associate Director Cooperative & Control at Rabobank in the Netherlands.

He delivered the attached address at the 2015 ICA Global Assembly in Turkey, impressing delegates from around the world.


20150213 HG Webversion Inaugural Publication.pdf