QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 8, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ -The International Co-operative Alliance took advantage of its presence at the International Summit of Cooperatives to unveil its first annual report on cooperatives, the World Co-operative Monitor, produced in collaboration with the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (Euricse).
According to the report, revenue of the 300 largest cooperatives in the world is US$2,200 billion, the equivalent of the GDP of Brazil. This represents growth of 11.2% during the past year.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the Alliance, stated, "The World Co-operative Monitor demonstrates that cooperatives are a major global economic force. Cooperatives stabilize the economic fabric; their approach is more prudent and they are less focused on profit-seeking than shareholder-owned businesses. I am delighted with the growth in the numbers for 2014, because the healthier cooperatives are, the more they will contribute to improved economic stability. To be able to help society to their fullest, however, cooperatives must be on equal footing in terms of policies and legislation."
A Japanese cooperative ranks first, and 10 Canadian coops are among the top
Zenkyoren, a Japanese insurance mutual, captured the top spot with revenue of US$77.61 billion, followed by two other Japanese cooperatives, Nippon Life and Meiji Yasuda Life. Special recognition goes to Swedish agriculture cooperative Lantmännen, which moved up the ranks in an unprecedented manner, from 263rd to 88th in under one year.
Canada also did well, with 10 representatives among the top 300, including five from Quebec. Desjardins Group ranked first among Canadian cooperatives (in the 41st spot), followed by the retail sales cooperative Federated Co-operatives Limited (58th) and La Coop fédérée (102nd). In addition, La Coop fédérée is 24th among large cooperatives in the agriculture and food industry sector, while Desjardins Group is the world's 5th largest cooperative in the banking and financial services sector.
"For no fewer than 10 Canadian cooperatives to make the World Co-operative Monitor's prestigious top 300 list shows that in Canada, the cooperative environment is flourishing, and that makes me very pleased," said Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and Summit co-host. "This is yet more proof that cooperatives are instrumental in the global economy and that they are also contributing to the sustainable prosperity of our communities."
Creating People Advantage (CPA) now includes a section on coops
The 2014-15 edition of the biannual study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), also unveiled today at the Summit, includes for the first time a panel of human resources specialists from the cooperative sector. This summary report, which provides a broad overview of general human resources priorities and trends in various industries and regions, surveyed 3,500 professionals from more than 100 countries. The study shows how critically important human resources are in cooperatives. It found that basically, cooperatives with weaker economic results do less than their higher performing peers in numerous HR areas including talent management, employee commitment, and leadership. The study shows average variances of 20% in performance scores, a significant difference.
Study: Cooperatives as seen through the eyes of members and non-members
Researcher Michel Séguin, Holder of the Guy-Bernier Chair in Cooperative Business at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), unveiled the findings of a study entitled The Cooperative Nature: An Overview, a large-scale survey of respondents from 10 countries all around the world. The report concludes that when asked if they agree with the statement that cooperatives respect the nature of their business model, respondents gave a very high average score of 5.02/7 on a scale of 1 (completely agree) to 7 (completely disagree). People from the United States agreed most with the statement (5.46/7), while Japanese were most critical of the cooperative model (4.44/7). Of the cooperative principles, openness to all and community involvement were the most likely to convince respondents that coops stay true to their primary mission.
To view the press release: sommetinter.coop
How demographics will affect the cooperative community
Demographer David K. Foot, an author and economics professor at the University of Toronto, was one of the most highly anticipated speakers of the day. He used local and global data to demonstrate the generalized and persistent influences demographic changes have on all cooperative businesses, a topic that has been attracting the attention of many cooperative leaders.
Coming up tomorrow
The closing day of the Summit will be action packed, with the unveiling of the findings of various exclusive studies by renowned organizations such as momagri, the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), PwC, LPS Production, IAE de Paris - Sorbonne Graduate Business School, and the Filene Research Institute. The event will wrap up with the United Nations' presentation of its Global Census on Cooperatives and a reading of the International Summit of Cooperatives declaration.
About the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives
Held at the initiative of Desjardins Group and the International Co-operative Alliance, the second International Summit of Cooperatives brings together decision makers and influencers from the international cooperative and mutual community in Quebec City, Canada, from October 6 to 9, 2014. This international economic gathering's bold, ambitious themes will also garner the attention and interest of numerous world socioeconomic leaders and politicians.
SOURCE: 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives
For further information: (for journalists only): Mathieu Lavallée, Media Relations, International Summit of Cooperatives, Summit Press Room, +1-514-947-7628 | +1-418 649-5232, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jan Schiettecatte, Director of Communications, International Co-operative Alliance, Summit Press Room, +1-418-953-0341 | +1-418-649-5232, email@example.com