The report was launched in Perth, Western Australia, at the 2019 BCCM leaders’ Summit; the state has more than 100 co-ops which serve 2.3 million customers and tens of thousands of farming, automotive, fishing, medical and retail businesses. In 2018 the top 10 co-ops and mutuals in Western Australia had a combined turnover of $9.35bn (£4.91bn).
Australia is home to 2,032 co-operatives and mutuals with a combined active membership of 31.3 members and $104bn (£54.63bn) turnover. They employ 61,000 people. Over the past five years annual gross turnover for the sector grew by an average annual growth of 5.1%.
The report also reveals that the average community and charitable contributions of the top 10 CMEs are around 10 times for business generally. Overall, co-ops and mutuals account for 1% of Australia’s total employment.
The summit also featured the launch of a Mutual Value Measurement Framework by researchers from Monash University. The study is a two-year, $1m (£0.53m) project funded by nine BCCM members and Monash Business School with collaboration from 13 CMEs.
The framework can be used by CMEs across different industries, of different sizes, and with different capabilities. It looks at how co-operatives and mutual create value through relationships with the broader community, including via sponsorships or the provision of services.
According to the report, the top 10 co-operative and mutual community contributors gave an average of 5.90% of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to community and charitable purposes. Showcasing different case studies, the report explains how co-operative and mutual businesses are making a difference to communities across the country.
BCCM chief executive Melina Morrison said the report had been built on collaboration, with the support of the movement in sharing data and information. The new Mutual Value Measurement Framework would help co-ops and mutual measure and demonstrate their value, she added.