What About Co-ops Around the Globe?

One billion voices – some things you might not know about co-ops

  • There are more than 1 billion members of co-operatives worldwide
  • Co-ops employ over 100 million people – that 20% more than all multinational enterprises.
  • The UN estimates that the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people, or half the world’s population, depend on co-operative enterprise.
  • The Top 300 co-operatives have a turnover of $1.1 trillion dollars equivalent to the 9th largest economy in the world.
  • The strength and reach of co-operatives is immense – in India small and large-scale farms help 11 million families earn part of their income.
  • In Africa, cocoa and coffee growing co-operatives have a large export market and reinvest profits in their communities to obtain portable water, sanitation and resources for local villages.
  • Co-operatives are also multi-billion dollar businesses and global brands such as Rabobank, Fonterra, Sunkist, Ocean Spray and The Associated Press.
  • Co-operatives account for all Fairtrade goods produced. - 887,000 small holders in developing countries receive a fair wage through Fairtrade co-operatives.
  • Co-ops and mutuals cover 69 million persons in Asia; 13 million in Latin America; 25 million in Africa and 5 million in the Middle East.
  • In Japan, agricultural co-operatives cover 90% of all farmers.
  • 49,000 credit unions serve 177 million members in 96 countries, under the umbrella of the World Council of Credit Unions.
  • With a membership of over 140 million, India can claim in this respect to be the largest co-operative sector on earth.
  • In many countries co-operatives are large employers; Swiss co-ops are the largest private employer; in Columbia they are the second largest employer.
  • In Norway co-operatives produce 76 percent of forestry products.
  • In New Zealand co-operatives have an output of $7 billion per annum and generate 70% of agricultural exports.
  • It is estimated that financial co-operatives reach 78 million people living below the poverty line of $2 per day.
  • 45% of Kenya’s GDP is derived from co-operatives.
  • The US has more than 900 rural electric co-operatives that deliver electricity to more than 42 million people in 47 States.
  • In France co-operatives handle 60% of retail banking, 40% of food and agricultural production, and 25% of retail sales
  • More amazing facts on Twitter: @CoopsYear




Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman, actor and supporter of IYC 2012
"...In 2012, I hope everyone comes to better understand the transforming power of co-operatives all over the world including Australia."

Facebook    Twitter

The IYC 2012 Secretariat is proudly supported by Social Business Australia and Capricorn Society Ltd

SBA logo                     Capricorn logo                          Capricorn logo

IYC 2012 logo