World’s top 300 co-operatives are worth $2.2 trillion

The top 300 co-operatives in the world are collectively worth $2.205 trillion– an increase from the previous year’s result of $2.097 trillion. Unveiled at the International Summit of Cooperatives, the World...

The top 300 co-operatives in the world are collectively worth $2.205 trillion– an increase from the previous year’s result of $2.097 trillion.

Unveiled at the International Summit of Cooperatives, the World Co-operative Monitor shows how important the contribution of co-operatives is to the global economy.

Already in its third edition, the Monitor is the result of a partnership between the International Co-operative Alliance and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse), which gathers data on global co-operatives.

This year’s monitor presents results of data analysis on the largest co-operatives around the world using 2012 financial results. The questionnaire, which laid at the basis of the process of data collection helped gather not only general and economic information, but also social data.

Presented by Gianluca Salvatori, CEO of Euricse, he called on national c0-operative leaders to encourage co-ops in their countries to submit data in future years. The monitor’s database includes information on 1,926 co-operatives from 65 countries.

“A lack of data means we have no robust data to build our business strategy and planning,” said Mr Salvatori. “How can we improve the understanding of the co-operative world? How can we explain the difference? We know the International Co-operative Alliance is taking steps towards this with the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. Nevertheless, we need better information and knowledge.”

He added that “we live in a time of metrics” and those who make complex decisions, such as policymakers need access to data. “We need knowledge based on a solid theory proven by accurate data.”

“You could help us to get there,” he told delegates in Quebec. “Complete the survey online, spread the word about the project and encourage others to participate and you can create with our help national/regional observatories based on the monitor methodology.”

All co-ops represented in the database achieved a turnover of $2.623 trillion. The monitor also reveals that 1,312 co-operatives across 50 countries had a turnover over $100m.

Over 41% of the 2014 top 300 were active in the insurance sector, 27% in agriculture, 20% in retail and wholesale, 5% in banking, 4% in industry and utilities and 1% in health and social care, while 2% came from other activities or services.


As well as providing data on the global movement, the database reveals how co-operatives have performed across different sectors. In the agriculture and food industries, data was collected for 523 co-operatives from 30 countries, which had a total turnover of $598bn in 2012. The National Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives (ZEN-NOH) of Japan came on top of the list, with a turnover of $56.8bn, followed by Nh Nonghyup (formerly NACF) of South Korea with $50.7bn and CHS INC of the USA, with $40.6bn.

In terms of the wholesale and retail trade sector, the monitor includes information on 405 co-operatives from 37 countries, with a turnover of $563.86bn in 2012. The largest co-operatives by turnover were ACDLEC – E. Leclerc of France with $57.66bn, Rewe Group in Germany with $54.84bn and Edeka Zentrale in Germany with $41.83bn.

The monitor also looks at the industry and utilities sector, with data from 154 co-operatives distributed across 18 states. These had a total turnover of $85.01bn in 2012. Spain’s Mondragon Corporation was first with a turnover of $18.58. Metsä Group of Finland was second with a turnover of $6.60bn, followed by Copersucar of Brazil with $5.48bn.

Co-operatives in the health and social care sector included in the Monitor had a total turnover of $15.11bn in 2012, this being based on data from 65 co-operatives from 14 countries. The largest co-operatives in the health and social care sector were, according to the report, health partners Inc in the USA, with $3.98bn, Group Health Cooperative also from the USA, with $3.63bn and Fundación Espriu of Spain with $1.80bn.

EURICSE also collected data from 130 co-operatives from other sectors, distributed in 23 countries, with a total turnover in 2012 of $22.96bn. Grupo Asces from Spain was the largest co-operative by turnover with $3.03bn, followed by Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques of Belgium ($1.61bn) and CAMST of Italy ($1.24bn).

The database includes information of the banking and financial services sector, with data collected from 90 co-operative banks, credit unions and other financial co-operatives distributed in 33 countries. These had a total net banking income of $164.96bn in 2012. The three largest co-operatives in the banking and financial services sector in 2012 came from France: Groupe Crédir Agricole ($40.9bn), Groupe BPCE (USD $28.96) and Groupe Crédit Mutuel (USD $19.26bn).

The monitor also collected data from 518 co-operative and mutual insurers distributed in 43 countries, with a total premium income in 2012 of $1.156tn. All three largest insurance co-operatives and mutual came from Japan. These were Zenkyoren with $77.61bn, Nippon Life with $64.62bn and Meiji Yasuda Life with $62.41bn.

Top 20 co-operatives in the world

Ranking 2012 Ranking 2011 Organisation Country Turnover 2012 (billion USD) Sector of activity
1 1 Zenkyoren Japan 77.61 Insurance
2 3 Nippon Life Japan 64.62 Insurance
3 6 Meiji Yasuda Life Japan 62.41 Insurance
4 4 State Farm Group USA 58.28 Insurance
5 7 ACDLEC – E.Leclerc France 57.66 Wholesale and retail
6 2 Zen-Noh (National Federation Of Agricultural Co-operatives) Japan 56.85 Agriculture and food
7 5 Rewe Group Germany 54.84 Wholesale and retail
8 12 NH Nonghyup (formerly NACF) South Korea 50.71 Agriculture and food
9 8 Kaiser Permanente USA 50.60 Insurance
10 13 Edeka Zentrale Germany 41.83 Wholesale and retail
11 9 Groupe Crédit Agricole France 40.90 Banking and financial services
12 11 CHS Inc. USA 40.60 Agriculture and food
13 10 Sumitomo Life Japan 31.19 Insurance
14 18 Système U France 30.62 Wholesale and retail
15 17 Liberty Mutual USA 30.19 Insurance
16 15 Coop Swiss Switzerland 29.21 Wholesale and retail
17 14 Groupe BPCE France 28.96 Banking and financial services
18 16 Nationwide USA 28.33 Insurance
19 20 MAPFRE Spain 27.73 Insurance
20 21 Migros-Genossenscafts-Bund Switzerland 27.31 Wholesale and retail

View the World Co-operative Monitor online:

• For more updates from the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives, click here

In this article

Join the Conversation