Co-ops and mutuals rank among Australia’s largest businesses

Australia's biggest exporter of grain, agri co-op CBH Group, is the country's third largest business

A new report shows that co-ops and mutuals are among the largest businesses in Australia.

Compiled by industry market researchers at IbisWorld, the index reveals that the largest 500 businesses in Australia accounted for just under 4.3% of the AU$5.5tn (£3.04tn) revenue recorded across the national economy in the 2019 financial year.

Australia’s largest exporter of grain, agri co-op CBH Group, is ranked third, while mutual insurer HCF also made the top 10.

Five of the top 50 firms are member-owned, representing a combined $11.44bn (£6.30bn) in annual revenue.

“The IbisWorld Index of the nation’s top 500 privately owned companies reveals the resilience of the co-operative and mutual model, with two out of the top 10 being owned by members and both moving up a place from last year,” said Melina Morrison, chief executive of the Australia’s Business Council for Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM).

“In this era of accountability, we are delighted to see both member owned firms CBH and HCF up higher in the top 10 list from last year. With the trying economic climate, these businesses are showing that they can be ethical whilst still being profitable.”

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