Three hundred of the world’s top co-operatives have a turnover of USD 2 trillion, according to statistics from the International Co-operative Alliance.
In an in-depth study of co-operative financial reports from around the world during 2010, the ICA and its partner in the scientific study Euricse discovered that the largest 300 co-operatives had a turnover of USD 1,975.6 billion, compared to USD 1,600 billion in last year's Global300 report.
The data forms part of the new World Co-operative Monitor, the report that replaces the Global300 and looks at the wider impact of the top global co-operatives, which was launched at Co-operatives United last week.
In the data, that covers 24 countries, USD 977.2 billion is from insurance co-ops and mutual, while USD 158.7 billion is from banking and financial services.
The highest performing co-operative was insurer Zenkyoren, which has a total turnover of USD 70.70 billion. Zen-noh, the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives in Japan, was in second place with USD 60.88 billion, while German consumer co-operative Edeka Zentrale was third with USD 58.16 billion. In fourth position was the USA’s insurer State Farm Group with USD 56.87 billion; and in fifth was Japan insurer Nippon Life with USD 55.5 billion.
The database consists of 2,192 co-operatives across 61 countries. Non-banking and insurance co-ops had an income of $1,155.1 billion, banking income had an income of $180.6 billion and insurance: $1,106.3 billion.
Europe made up the most co-ops with 1,297; the Americas had 560 reports; followed by Asia with 156; Oceania with 151; and eight in Africa.
The co-operatives by sector were: insurance co-operatives and mutual (28%), agriculture and food industries (26%), consumer and retail (21%), industry and utilities (7%), banking and financial services (7%), other services (4%), health and social care (3%), other (3%) and other (1%).
Charles Gould, ICA Director-General, said: “Throughout this year, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has promoted and supported a large number of initiatives. As the global voice of co-operatives, ICA determined that the International Year of Co-operatives also presented the perfect opportunity to collect data on the largest co-operatives in the world.
"This new data demonstrates that not only do co-operatives have significant scale, but that this scale is sustainable even in the face of difficult global economic conditions. More than this, with USD 2 trillion in annual revenue among the 300 largest co-operatives alone, this is a sector that is no side-player, but a major, global, economic force.”
The report was supported by Crédit Coopératif, the Desjardins Group, the Indian Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Organisação das Cooperativas Brasileiras (OCB), and The Co-operative Group.
In 2005 the ICA began Global300, an initiative to develop a list of the 300 biggest co-operatives and mutual organisations worldwide. With the addition of Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises) as a technical-scientific partner, the new edition of the ICA report gains methodological strength. In order to expand and give more scientific basis to the project, Euricse and ICA have established a scientific committee consisting of Euricse researchers and other international experts with diverse training and skills.
Picture: Map of the World Co-operative Monitor database