The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has released the 2020 edition of the World Co-operative Monitor, which shows that the world’s 300 largest co-operatives had a combined turnover of US$2.14tn in 2018, an increase from the $2.03tn reported for 2017.
The monitor explores the economic and social impact of the largest co-operatives and mutuals worldwide, providing a ranking of the Top 300, sector rankings, and an analysis of responses to two global challenges: Covid-19 and climate change.
In its ninth edition, the annual report is produced by the ICA with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).
The data collected for the 2020 edition is from 2018, with primary sources including annual and sustainability reports, economic databases, data collected by national associations, research institutes, and other organisations, and responses to a questionnaire sent directly to enterprises.
This report presents rankings based on turnover as well as the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The sectors with the most organisations present in the Top 300 are agriculture and food (104 enterprises) and insurance (101 enterprises) followed by wholesale and retail trade (57 organisations).
However, considering the weight of the enterprises by sector based on turnover, the insurance sector covers 34.5% of the total turnover ($758.54bn), followed by agriculture ($532.11bn, equal to 24.2% of the total turnover of the top 300) and wholesale and retail trade ($459.36bn, equal to 20.9% of the total top 300).
The largest co-operatives in the world based on turnover are co-operative bank Groupe Crédit Agricole from France ($89.10bn), retailer REWE Group from Germany ($63.07bn) and co-operative banking group Groupe BPCE from France ($63.01bn). These are followed by insurer Zenkyoren ($58.14bn) and agricultural co-op Zen-Noh ($56.15bn), both from Japan.
The ranking based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is topped by two Indian producer co-operatives: IFFCO and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited.
Special focus on Covid-19 and SDG13
The report includes a case study of platform co-operative SMART and its actions towards helping its members, primarily from the culture and creative arts sector. It also features a special analysis of the top 300 and the thirteenth UN Sustainable Development Goal (Climate Action – SDG 13). This includes a focus on Rabobank’s (Netherlands) climate consciousness approach to banking and an interview with the chief values officer of the Midcounties Co-operative (UK), Peter Westall.
ICA director general Bruno Roelants said: “The global pandemic has put a strain on many businesses, but as you’ll read in this report, many large co-operatives have stepped in to help employees, members, and communities to face the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19.
“We wanted to thank the newly formed ICA International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT), a group of large co-operatives engaged in strategic thinking around co-operative entrepreneurship, for its contribution to this year’s World Cooperative Monitor, as well as the organisations that provided their data, and the supporters of this year’s edition for making it possible”.
Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse secretary general, said: “2020 faced us with the need to address a social emergency without depressing our economies. This has always been the case for co-operatives. So their model is more topical than ever. And the objective of the Monitor is to show how the co-operative model is capable of facing major challenges, activating important resources through large organisations, without any inferiority complexes.”
Agriculture and food industries
The largest co-operatives by GDP were Zen-Noh from Japan ($56.15bn), Nonghyup ($41.41bn) from the Republic of Korea and CHS Inc. ($32.68bn) from the USA.
From this sector, there are 106 in the top 300 based on turnover and 98 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
Industry and utilities:
The top three co-operatives by GDP were Corporación Mondragón from Spain ($14.43bn), Basin Electric Power Cooperative from the USA ($2.44bn) and SACMI from Italy ($1.70bn).
From this sector, there are 10 in the top 300 based on turnover and 5 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
Wholesale and retail trade:
The top three by turnover were: REWE Group from Germany ($63.07bn), ACDLEC – E. Leclerc from France ($55.08bn) and Edeka Zentrale also from Germany ($40.50bn).
From this sector, there are 57 in the top 300 based on turnover and 64 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
The three largest co-operatives by turnover were Zenkyoren ($58.14bn) and Nippon Life ($54.98bn) from Japan and State Farm ($43.43bn) from the USA.
From this sector, there are 101 in the top 300 based on turnover and 96 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
The sector’s largest co-ops by GDP were Groupe Crédit Agricole from France with a turnover of $40.62bn, BVR from Germany with $32.41bn and Groupe BPCE from France with $28.36bn.
From this sector, there are 21 in the top 300 based on turnover and 24 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
Education, health and social work:
The largest co-ops by GDP in this sector were HealthPartners Inc from the USA with a turnover of $7.06bn, Fundación Espriu from Spain with $1.92bn, and Naganoken Kosei Nogyo KR from Japan with $900m.
From this sector, there are two in the top 300 based on turnover and seven in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.
The largest co-op by GDP was Nihon Delica Foods Association ($4.6bn) from Japan, followed by Selectour ($3.25bn) from France and OBOS BBL ($1.62bn) from Norway.
From this sector, there are three in the top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.