World Co-operative Monitor takes a look at the top 300 co-ops

The latest edition also looks at the role of the co-ops in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The world’s top 300 co-operatives have a combined turnover of US$2.01tn, according to the latest edition of the World Co-operative Monitor, which was launched at the General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Now in its 7th year, the report is produced by the ICA with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

The 2018 edition is based on 2016 financial data. The monitor collected data for 2,575 organisations from eight sectors of activity, 1,157 of which have a turnover of over US$100m.

This report presents rankings based on turnover as well as the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product per capita.

French co-operative bank Crédit Agricole remains the largest co-operative in the world based on turnover with $90.16bn, followed by Groupe BPCE ($67.78bn), also from France; BVR from Germany ($55.36); Zenkyoren from Japan ($54.62bn); and retailer REWE Group from Germany ($54.57bn).

In the top 300 based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranking, IFFCO from India holds the top position.

The world’s top 300 co-operative organisations 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 to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development agenda. The monitor examines documents reported to the UN Global Compact project and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

A package of fertiliser from Indian agri-co-op IFFCO
IFFCO is the largest co-op when GDP per capita is factored in

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.

Bruno Roelants, director-general of the ICA, said: “We are proud to find many examples of co-operative and mutual enterprises developing projects and initiatives to ensure fair labour, protect the environment, and much more to meet the SDGs. Featured within the section are also stories about the actions taken by Grupo Sancor Seguros (Argentina), Metsä Group (Finland) and Sicredi (Brazil), three of the Top 300.”

The analysis includes case studies about specific actions taken by three of the top 300 co-ops, as well as an interview Enrico Giovannini, co-chair of the UN Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse secretary general, believes that “co-operative organisations and the subjects of the social economy are increasingly an important junction for bringing institutions, civil society and businesses closer together”.

He added: “To address societal problems we need to continue to build co-operation through the framework and tools of sustainable development.”

The report also includes a trend analysis on the top co-operatives and mutuals by sector activity.

The front cover of the 2018 edition of the World Co-operative Monitor
The 2018 edition of the Monitor


• Data collected from 846 organisations in 30 countries.

• Top 20 by turnover came from 10 countries.

• The largest is Jen-noh in Japan (turnover $44.06bn), followed by Nonghyup in the Republic of Korea and CHS Inc. in the USA.

• Based on turnover over GDP per capita, IFFCO in India is first, with Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation in India second and Nonghyup in the Republic of Korea third.

Industry and Utilities

• Data collected from 174 organisations in 21 countries.

• 84 have a turnover of over US $100m.

• The largest is Mondragon in Spain ($13.32bn) followed by Basin Electric Power Cooperative in the USA ($2.05bn) and Oglethorpe Power Corporation in the USA ($1.51bn).

• Based on turnover over GDP per capita, Oglethorpe Power Corporation is replaced by SACMI in Italy.

Wholesale and Retail Trade

• Data collected from 376 organisations in 32 countries.

• 272 have a turnover above $100m.

• The largest is REWE Group in Germany ($54.57bn), followed by ACDLEC – E. Leclerc in France ($48.10bn), and Edeka Zentrale in Germany ($34.23bn).

• Based on turnover over GDP per capita, ACDLEC – E. Leclerc overtakes REWE Group, which comes second.

Insurance Co-operatives and Mutuals

• Data collected from 156 organisations in 22 countries.

• 139 have a turnover above $100m.

• The largest is Zenkyoren in Japan ($54.62bn), followed Nippon Life in Japan ($48.17bn) and State Farm in the USA ($40.80bn).

• Based on turnover over turnover over GDP per capita, Sumitomo Life in Japan overtakes State Farm.

Banking and Financial Services

• Data collected from 494 organisations in 30 countries.

• 179 have a turnover over $100m.

• The largest is Groupe Crédit Agricole in France ($45.66bn), followed by BVR in Germany ($44.72bn), and Groupe Crédit Mutuel in France ($31.75bn).

• The top three rankings remain unchanged based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Health, Education and Social Care

• Data collected from 97 co-ops.

• 21 have a turnover over $100m.

• The largest is HealthPartners Inc. from the USA ($6.03bn), Fundación Espriu from Spain ($1.93bn), and Unimed do Brasil from Brazil ($1.33bn). If ranked based on turnover over GDP per capita, the top three are Unimed do Brasil, Health partners Inc. and Fundación Espriu.

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