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ICA’s World Cooperative Monitor

Posted February 26, 2021

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Brussels, BELGIUM – The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) launched on January 20 the 2020 edition of the World Cooperative Monitor during an international webinar. This is the ninth edition of the annual report, which explores the economic and social impact of the largest cooperatives and mutuals worldwide, providing a ranking of the Top 300, sector rankings, and an analysis of responses to the current glo

The Top 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of over two trillion USD (2,146 billion USD), based on 2018 financial data. These organisations operate in various economic sectors, the agricultural (104 enterprises) and insurance sectors (101 enterprises) being the ones leading the list. The wholesale and retail trade sector represents the third biggest economic sector (57 enterprises).

This year’s results show the largest cooperatives performing well, with only slight variations in the top positions across the sectors. In the Top 300 ranking based on turnover, Groupe Crédit Agricole (France) placed first, as it did last year, whereas Groupe BPCE (France) swapped with the German REWE Group, which is now second. Most of the Top 300 enterprises are from the more industrialised countries such as the USA (74 enterprises), France (44 enterprises), Germany (30 enterprises) and Japan (24 enterprises).

 In the Top 300 based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranking - which relates the turnover of the enterprise to the wealth of the country - two Indian producer cooperatives achieved the first and second positions: IFFCO and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited.

In terms of the most represented sectors, the Agriculture and Food Industries sector is led by Zen-Noh from Japan.

Corporación Mondragón from Spain tops the Industry and Utilities sector and German REWE Group leads in Wholesale and Retail Trade

On Covid-19 pandemic response, cooperatives have proven to be resilient and innovative. The Monitor includes a case study about the freelancers’ cooperative SMART and its actions towards helping its members, primarily from the culture and creative arts sector.

On Climate Change Action or SDG 13, this year’s report features a special analysis of the Top 300 and the thirteenth United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action - SDG 13). It also includes two case studies that show how cooperatives are helping to achieve SDG 13. The report explores Rabobank’s (Netherlands) its innovative banking for climate consciousness and features an interview with the Chief Values Officer of the Midcounties Co-operative (UK), Peter Westall.


As Bruno Roelants, Director-General of the ICA, said: “The global pandemic has put a strain on many businesses, but as you’ll read in this report, many large cooperatives 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 cooperatives engaged in strategic thinking around cooperative 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 cooperatives. So their model is more topical than ever. And the objective of the Monitor is to show how the cooperative model is capable of facing major challenges, activating important resources through large organisations, without any inferiority complex.”

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