10 World’s Biggest Agriculture Cooperative

10 World's Largest Agriculture Cooperative

There are 10 World’s Biggest Agriculture cooperatives according to the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). This is an independent /non-governmental organization whose members are all cooperatives in the world. In its Report, World Cooperative Monitor, they describe the ranking of the world’s largest agricultural cooperatives in 2022. Moreover, this ranking is based on the business turnover/ income of the cooperative for a period of 1 year.

Table Ranking of 10 Largest Agricultural Cooperatives in the world in 2020

RangkingNameOriginTurnover/ RevenueType
of cooperativeof Cooperative(in Billion US Dollar)of cooperatives
2Nonghyup(NACF)South Korea44.81Producer
3CHS incUSA28.41Producer
4Bay WaGermany19.59Non-Producer
5Dairy Farmers of AmericaUSA17.88Producer
6Land O LakesUSA13.95Producer
8FonterraNew Zealand13.15Producer
9Friesland CampinaNetherlands12.72Producer
10Arla FoodsDenmark 12.16Producer

Source : ICA, 2022

Brief Description of 10 World’s Biggest Agriculture Cooperatives

1.      Zen-Noh

The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh) is the largest agriculture cooperative in Japan and the world. It was formed on March 30, 1972, from the merger of 2 cooperatives namely ZENHAREN (National Marketing Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations) and ZENKOREN (National Purchasing Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations). By the time, the cooperative’s headquarters is in Tokyo and has representative/ branch offices in several Japanese prefectures. In 2020, revenues from its business operations amounted to the US $ 57.69 billion.

Functionally, this cooperative has an important objective in protecting the agriculture sector in Japan by helping to improve the economic quality of the members i.e. farmers in Japan. With this institution, farmers can get a fair price and avoid the dominance of the market by middlemen and wholesalers that can harm farmers. Finally, with this cooperative, farmers can carry out their agricultural business activities securely because they have some guarantee of their market access, appropriate prices, training, and agricultural capital.

2.    Nonghyup (NACF)

The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) is an alliance of several cooperatives in South Korea which was formed on August 15, 1961. in 2020, Nonghyup still became the 2nd World’s biggest agriculture cooperative. The cooperative was originally formed as a result of the merger of Agricultural Cooperatives in South Korea (Agricultural Cooperatives) and Agricultural Bank (Agricultural Bank). To date, there are approximately 1,155 cooperative members and 2.4 million representative farmers in South Korea with a business turnover of up to 38 billion US dollars.

3.      Cenex Harvest State (CHS)  Inc

This agricultural cooperative has a variety of agricultural business activities (diversified global agribusiness cooperative). It was founded in 1931 and headquartered in Invers Grovel Heights, Minnesota, the United States with employees reaching 10,495 people. Until 2020, the total revenue (turnover) of this cooperative reached the US $ 44.81 billion. It became the Cenex Harvest State (CHS) as the 3rd world’s biggest agriculture cooperative in 2020.

This America-based cooperative has diverse business units i.e. agronomy, energy, and marketing. In the field of agronomy, these cooperatives assist farmers in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their agricultural business activities including agricultural technology for members such as CHY Yield Points, providing agricultural production facilities such as seeds, fertilizers, and agricultural pesticides. Secondly, the energy division, provides fuel oil, lubricants, propane, and biofuels as well as equipment for the energy and mining business. Lastly, In marketing, this cooperative carries out distribution and marketing activities of agricultural products to several companies or countries partners in the world because this cooperative has marketing branches in various regions in the world such as Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America.

4.    Bay Wa

BayWa Aktiengesellschaft is one of the world’s biggest agriculture cooperatives from Germany. It was founded on January 17, 1923, and headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company grew gradually into an agricultural commodity trading institute in Germany that has multiple unit business.

Operationally, this institution has several business units. First, agriculture, this company’s business unit includes the sale of agricultural products such as vegetables and fruits, agricultural machines, and inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides. Secondly, building materials, this cooperative provides building materials, construction, and renovation of housing as well as parks. Thirdly, in the energy sector, businesses in this area include planning, development, and construction for the development of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy. This institution also trades in the fields of lubricants, wood pellets, and fuel. Lastly, agriculture digital innovation, this institution also makes several programs, software, or applications in agriculture in meeting to increase efficiency and effectiveness in agriculture.

5.    Dairy Farmers of America

 This cooperative was founded in 1998 as a merger of 4 dairy and livestock cooperatives in America, namely The Southern Region of Associated Milk Producers, Mid-America Dairymen Inc, Milk Marketing Inc, and Western Dairymen Cooperative Inc. This cooperative forms the base foundation of the dairy farmers in the United States by providing various marketing, training, and technology support to members. With a large number of cooperative memberships, many processing plants can process and store dairy products from farmers.

Until now, its membership has reached more than 13,000 American farmers and breeders with a business turnover of US $ 17.88 billion in 2020. In the United States, this cooperative provides benefits to its members who are farmers and cattle breeders, namely;

1.The sharing to members from the cooperative’s profits to the members

2.The existence of voting rights in cooperative membership

3.Competitive prices for every liter of milk produced by farmers.

4.There is an insurance program for its employees related to the business and health of workers and members.

In the downstream sector, this cooperative develop a modern marketing strategy like a private company in the United States. They develop various processed dairy products with their own brands such as Borden Cheese, Break Stone Butter, Chache Valley Cheese, and Dairy Maid Dairy.

6.      Land O Lakes

Land O Lakes is an agricultural cooperative based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, United States. Its business focuses on developing dairy farming. Since Established on July 8, 1921, this cooperative has around 1,959 official members of cattle breeders, 759 unofficial members, and 10,000 employees. Many of the products produced by this cooperative include cheese, butter, butter, chocolate, eggs, milk, and animal feed. In 2020, the turnover of this cooperative business reached the US $ 13.95 billion.

The cooperative annually controls the milk produced by the farmers. Its production is up to 12 billion pounds per year. With abundant quantities of raw materials, this cooperative became one of the largest producers of butter and cheese in the United States. With this power, Its role has an impact on farmers and breeders, especially in terms of providing markets and capital for breeders.

7.     Hokuren  Federation of Agriculture Cooperative

This cooperative is based in Hokkaido which helps Japanese farmers improve the economic life of their members. This cooperative helps Japanese farmers in marketing products, capital assistance, and agricultural training. The various products produced by this cooperative include Japanese soybeans (edamame), various fruit products, vegetables, eggs, rice, yogurt, and cow’s milk.

8.    Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (Fonterra)

This dairy cooperative originates from New Zealand which was established on October 16, 2001. This cooperative is the result of the merger of the two largest cooperatives in New Zealand, between the New Zealand Dairy Group and the Kiwi Cooperatives Dairy. With a membership of 10,500 breeders and production of 2 billion liters of fresh milk each year, this cooperative is able to generate revenues of US $ 13.15 billion in 2020. The cooperative hasexported some products to several countries with some diverse products not only milk but also cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream.

 9.    Friesland Campina

 This is one of the largest cooperatives in Europe that has marketed its products to several countries. These sold products are milk-based products and have distributed in some countries with the Frisian Flag Brand.

Originally, this cooperative was founded in 2008 as a result of the merger between 2 cooperatives namely Royal Friesland and Campina in December. Until now, the membership of this cooperative is very large, reaching 17,413 farmers which manage 11,476 dairy farms spread across Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. Some of the product brands of this cooperative are Alaska, Black and White, Bonnet Rouge, Frisiand Flag,and various other brands. Until 2020, based on business performance, the  cooperative’s turnover reached US $ 12.72 billion.

10.       Arla Foods

Arla Food is a cooperative based in Denmark and becomes one of the producers of livestock products in the Scandinavian region. Since its founding in the 1880s, this cooperative has a membership of around 11,200 people spread across Sweden and Denmark with total milk production of 13.7 billion kilograms per year.

To carry out product processing activities, this cooperative has 60 processing factories, all of which are powered by environmentally friendly powered energy/resources. From the marketing side, its products have been sold to 151 countries in the world. Some of the brands are Arla (milk, cheese, Butter, Mozzarella), Apetina (White, Grill, Cream, Grated Cheese), and Lurpak (Margarine).

BIbliography Article 10 World’s Biggest Agriculture Cooperatives:

World Cooperative Monitor 2022. International Cooperative Alliance. Accessed through https://monitor.coop/en/media/library/research-and-reviews/world-cooperative-monitor-2022

Arla Food Amba. 2021. Annual Report 2019. Accessed in https://www.arla.com/

Baywa re. 2021.About Baywa Re. Accessed in https://www.baywa-re.com/en/

CHSINC. 2021. About CHS. Accessed in https://www.chsinc.com/about-chs

Fonterra. 2021. About Fonterra. Accessed in https://www.fonterra.com/au/en/about.html

Hokuren. 2021. Accessed in https://www.hokuren.or.jp/

Wikipedia. 2021.National Agricultural Cooperative Federation. Accessed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Agricultural_Cooperative_Federation

Zennoh. 2021. The JA Group. Accessed in https://www.zennoh.or.jp/english/

Land O’ Lakes. 2021. Our Company. Access in https://www.landolakes.com/

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