In its eighth year, the Monitor is produced by the International Co-operative Alliance with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).
The Monitor collected data for 4,575 co-operatives and mutuals (1,152 from Europe, 3,218 from the Americas, 197 from Asia-Pacific, and eight from Africa) operating in 10 sectors of activity. The data collected for the 2019 edition is from the year 2017 with sources including existing databases of economic data, data collected by national associations, research institutes, and other organisations, and the use of a questionnaire to collect data directly from enterprises.
Co-ops featured in the Top 300 come from various sectors with 39% active in insurance, 31.7% in agriculture, 17.7% in wholesale and retail trade 17.7%, 7% in banking and financial services, 1% in industry and utilities 1%, and 1% in health, education and social care.
The largest co-operatives in the world based on turnover are co-operative banks Groupe Crédit Agricole (US$96.25bn) and Groupe BPCE (US$59.03bn), both from France. They are followed by retailer REWE Group (US$55.85bn) and co-operative banking apex BVR (US$55.29bn) from Germany.
This year’s report includes an analysis of how the Top 300 are contributing to the eighth Sustainable Development Goal (Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all).
This includes a look at how co-ops ensure full, productive employment and decent work. For 12 of the 22 co-operatives which included the data in their annual or sustainability report, the percentage of employees in 2017 hired on a permanent basis was over 90%. For eight, this percentage was between 80% and 90%, and in just two cases, this percentage was less than 80% but still above 50%.
The report includes case studies of Up Groupe from France, KRIBHCO from India, and SOK from Finland, and their actions on SDG8, and an interview with the secretary general of Cicopa, Diana Dovgan, who explores the contribution of industrial and service co-operatives to the world of work.
Bruno Roelants, director general of the ICA, said: “This new edition of the World Cooperative Monitor goes beyond the Top 300 ranking based on turnover to further explore the dynamics of the co-operative movement. As highlighted by the United Nations, co-operatives make a substantial contribution to achieving the 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development. In this year’s report, we see concrete examples of specific action undertaken by some of the largest from around the world.”
Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse secretary general, said: “Co-operatives must take on (and communicate) a strategy for sustainable development able to represent an effective alternative to the mainstream shareholder model, able to comprehensively respond to present challenges. In fact, the more organisations participate in reporting initiatives that enable the collection of reliable and internationally comparable data, the more research and analysis can be done to demonstrate the social and economic impact of co-operatives.”
- Top 10 by turnover came from seven countries: Japan, Republic of Korea, USA, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Denmark.
- The largest is Zen-noh in Japan (turnover US$41.37bn), followed by Nonghyup in the Republic of Korea (US$38.82bn) and CHS Inc. in the USA (US$31.94bn).
- From this sector, there are 97in the Top 300 based on turnover and 87 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
Industry and Utilities
- Top 10 came from three countries: US, Italy and Spain.
- The largest is Corporación Mondragón from Spain (US$13.49bn), with Basin Electric Power Cooperative from the USA on the second place (US$2.27bn) and SACMI. from Italy as third (US$1.61bn).
- From this sector, there are eight in the Top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
Wholesale and Retail Trade
- The top 10 came from six countries: Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, UK and the USA.
- On the top position is German retailer REWE Group with a turnover of US$55.85bn, followed by ACDLEC- E. Leclerc from France with US$42.01bn and Edeka Zentrale from Germany with US$37.22bn.
- From this sector, there are 53 in the Top 300 based on turnover and 52 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
- The top 10 came from five countries: Japan, USA, Germany, Netherlands and France.
- The largest were Zenkyoren from Japan with a turnover of US$51.69bn, with Nippon Life from Japan coming second (US$48.36bn), and State Farm from the USA as third (US$42.42bn).
- From this sector, there are 117 in the Top 300 based on turnover and 116 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
- The top 10 came from eight countries: France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Austria, USA, Japan and Switzerland.
- The three largest co-ops by GDP are: Groupe Crédit Agricole from France (US$51.38bn), BVR from Germany (US$29.05bn) and Groupe BPCE from France (US$25.55bn).
- From this sector, there are 21in the Top 300 based on turnover and 33 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
Education, health and social work
- The report includes the ranking of the top five largest co-operatives, which come from four countries: USA, Spain, Brazil and Colombia.
- The top three are Health Partners Inc. from USA (US$6.65bn), Fundación Espriu from Spain (US$2.02bn) and Unimed from Brazil (US$1.55bn).
- From this sector, there are 3 co-ops in the Top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.
- The top five come from three countries: Norway, Sweden and Italy.
- The largest co-op is OBOS BBL from Norway (US$1.40bn), followed by HSB from Sweden (US$1.04bn) and Coopservice from Italy (US$1.01bn).
- From this sector, there is one co-op in the Top 300 based on turnover and 2 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.