List of top 100 co-ops in USA released

The National Cooperative Bank (NCB) in America has released its annual NCB Co-op 100 list.

The list shows the USA’s highest earning co-operatives and is the only annual report tracking profits and successes of co-operative businesses in the United States.

Overall, the top 100 brought in revenue of $243.2bn (£161.7bn) in 2014, a 4% increase from 2013.

The agricultural co-operative CHS Inc., based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, retained its position at the top of the list. The co-op is made up of farmers, ranchers and co-operatives across America and reported $42.6bn (£28.3bn) of revenue last year.

CHS was considerably ahead of the second placed co-op – also from the agricultural sector – Dairy Farmers of America, based in Kansas City, Missouri. They brought in $17.9bn (£11.9bn) in 2014, and kept hold of their second place spot from 2013.

Across the other sectors, Wakefern Food Corporation/Shoprite was the highest placed grocery co-op in fourth place, with $11.8bn (£7.8bn) of revenue, while HealthPartners Inc. from Minnesota was the largest health co-op, bringing in $5.5bn (£3.7bn) to make seventh place.

The highest placed energy co-op, Basin Electric Power Cooperative in North Dakota, failed to make the top ten, earning $2.2bn (£1.5bn) in eighteenth place.

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The NCB releases the list every October as a means of tracking, and promoting, the co-operative business model. The NCB is a long-time advocate for co-operatives, and provides finance to support the growth and expansion of co-operative businesses.

Charles Snyder, CEO of NCB, said: “Co-operatives build a better world. The business model, seen in major industries across the United States, from local food to finance, helps strengthen communities and empower people. The financial and social impact of co-ops is very impressive but we must work together to increase our recognition for co-operatives worldwide. Now is the time, share and support co-operative business.”

Co-ops in America provide over two million jobs and create more than $75bn (£50bn) in annual wages.

The growth of co-ops in America echoes the findings of the World Co-operative Monitor, released at the International Co-operative Alliance’s global conference in Antalya in November. The report showed that the world’s top 300 co-ops have increased their turnover by 6.9% in the last year – from $2.2 trillion to $2.36 trillion.

While presenting those results, the chief executive for the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Economy (Euricse), Gianluca Salvatori, said: “The numbers we present, the rankings we develop, do not show the extraordinary capacity the co-operative movement has to interpret social change. It’s no longer enough to show that co-ops perform as well as shareholder companies, we need to focus on what makes us different. Let’s use the potential of the World Co-op Monitor to show the difference of the co-operative model. Let’s not limit ourselves to compete.”

To see the full list of top 100 co-ops in America, click here.