KAMPALA, January 26, 2024 – The International Cooperative Alliance [ICA] and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises [EURICSE] yesterday released the 2023 edition of the World Cooperative Monitor [ WCM ]. The Report contains the much-anticipated Top 300 rankings of the world’s largest cooperatives and mutuals and a special focus on member benefits.
Globally, the top three positions in the podium are held by two French groups from the financial sector: Groupe Crédit Agricole in first place and Groupe BPCE in third; with Germany’s REWE from the retail trade sector coming in second.
Launched during a webinar in collaboration with the ICA International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank [ICETT], this year’s report is the 12th edition, and it provides; a list of the worlds’ largest 300 cooperatives and mutuals, an analysis of the economic sector, and a focus on how large cooperatives and mutuals convey their identity and inform the public about their benefits to members.
Each year the WCM produces a robust database that shows not only the economic importance of the cooperative business model, but also the global impact cooperatives and mutuals have on their members and communities. This is accomplished by building on years of research and data collection, and continually refining and improving the methodology.
The in-depth research and collaboration to produce this report continues to provide the cooperative movement with a significant tool to evaluate its own positioning and highlights the importance of cooperative enterprises to the public and policy-makers around the world.
Jeroen Douglas, Director General of the ICA said: “The Top 300 rankings and sectoral analyses featured in this report showcase the diversity and magnitude of cooperative impact. From agriculture to finance, healthcare to energy, cooperatives are transforming industries, putting people before profits, and creating sustainable models for the benefit of all. In a world facing numerous challenges, from economic uncertainties to social inequalities, the cooperative model emerges as a beacon of hope, demonstrating its unique ability to foster inclusive growth, shared prosperity, and community resilience.”
Gianluca Salvatori, Secretary General of Euricse stressed the importance of measuring the size as well as the impact of the cooperative economy, especially given the increased visibility over recent years of the social economy. “Important global initiatives, such as the European Social Economy Plan, recognition within the European Industrial Strategy and the European Council Recommendation of November 2023, underscore the importance of the social economy. These initiatives also validate and challenge this type of reporting, inviting the World Cooperative Monitor to contribute to a more precise understanding of the social economy, particularly in the cooperative sector.”
In a dynamic landscape where the social role of cooperatives is increasingly evident, Salvatori also notes that the new report also contains an in-depth look at the benefits that these organisations provide to their members, with an emphasis on the online communication strategy they adopt to convey the identity of cooperatives and their ability to provide added value.
Focus 2023 – Cooperative identity and member benefits
This year’s report features a chapter focused on how large cooperatives and mutuals convey their identity as cooperative or mutual and how they inform the public online about the member benefits to enlarge their social base. They employ diverse elements, including direct statements, historical narratives, structures, business practices and descriptions of their cooperative nature. Additionally, they highlight various member benefits, both tangible and intangible, which vary according to the specific type of cooperative.
The 2023 Top 300
The Top 300 cooperatives and mutuals in the world report a total turnover of more than two trillion dollars based on 2021 financial data. These organidations operate in various economic sectors, with Agriculture [105 enterprises] and Insurance [96 enterprises] leading the list. Wholesale and Retail Trade represent the third biggest economic sector [57 enterprises] in the ranking.
In the Top 300 ranking based on turnover, on the podium there are two financial and one retail enterprise. The first two positions belong to the French Groupe Crédit Agricole (US$ 117.01 billion turnover in 2021) and the German REWE Group [US$ 82.03BLn turnover in 2021].
Rising to third place is the Groupe BPCE [US$ 64.06bln turnover in 2021]. Most of the Top 300 enterprises are from some of the most industrialised countries such as the USA [73 enterprises], France [40 enterprises], Germany [31 enterprises] and Japan [21 enterprises].
In the Top 300 ranking based on the ratio of turnover over GDP per capita as they did last year, two Indian producer cooperatives reach the first and second positions: The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative [IFFCO] and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited. In third place is the French Groupe Crédit Agricole.
Leading the sector rankings based on turnover are:
- Agriculture and Food Industries: Nonghyup (National Agricultural Cooperative Federation [NACF]-Republic of Korea.
- Industry and Utilities: Corporación Mondragón[Spain]
- Wholesale and Retail Trade: REWE Group [Germany]
- Insurance: Talanx Group [Germany]
- Financial Services: Groupe Crédit Agricole [France]
- Education, Health and Social Work: Sistema Unimed [Brazil]
Other services: DATEV [Germany].
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