What is the cooperative formula? Agri-food cooperativism and its impact at European level

Apr 13, 2021 06:02 · 4426 words · 21 minute read

But you want to take the now you can go. I just came in from a totally different things, but I was just finishing that, so I wanted to join you. Ok, then I will introduce this decision.

00:18 - So good morning, everybody, and welcome to Counting anymore.

00:24 - How many capital we have had. But this is organized by the small project Rubies More where it’s the EU project.

00:33 - We are coming to the end of the three and a half years now and we studied innovative rural business models of innovative business models in rural areas and.

00:49 - So, yeah, can we go to the next slide, please? Pablo? And this cycle of confidence in March.

00:57 - So we looked a bit more what we call the business environment and what clusters the the positive side with a.

01:09 - Then we looked at the business environment last week, and today we will have a presentation on the role of cooperatives in business models in rural areas.

01:21 - And just before we hand over to Pablo and Susana from Spanish Cook, just like to give you a reminder that next week we will have the chance to visit and will go to public school, which is a biorefinery in France and has implemented some really cool measures to include the bio economy and circular economy in the business model.

01:48 - So that would be for next week. But we have no more.

01:51 - What Pablo and Susana, the floor you. Thank you, Justin.

01:57 - I will shoot off my camera to ensure a good connection.

02:02 - So a good morning. First of all, I would like to start saying that both Susana and I work for Agriculture Cooperatives of Spain, which is an organization that represents the interests of the Spanish cooperatives, both national and European level.

02:23 - I will start that in the context of providing relevant figures of the cooperative movement, mainly for Spain, but also for Europe.

02:32 - And afterwards, my colleague Suzanne Malveaux will going deep on the cooperative business model and interest rates.

02:40 - So I would like to to start my presentation, explain to you how our organization works in Spain. Many if we work for the cooperative interest, you must understand that since the farmers, at least the farmers, are the owners, ultimately they are our bosses.

03:02 - Therefore, these farmers are on the top of this inverted pyramid that you can see here gathered in cooperatives which are represented to be.

03:18 - By 17, I am located in each of the Spanish relaxation is the General Confederation of Cooperatives, which, as I have said, represents the interests of cooperatives of national and European level.

03:40 - Yes, I think there is some noise in the background.

03:45 - I would appreciate if you could silence them.

03:48 - Thank you. And so I see I was saying, A, we represent the interests of the British national and European level in our headquarters are located in Madrid, in Spain.

04:04 - And we also have an office in Brazil within the Newcastle headquarters that, as you know, this is the organisation that represents the interests of both farmers and cooperatives at a European level.

04:20 - OK, so moving to the next slide in this map, you can see the different federations of cooperatives that I would say that work at regional level and in.

04:38 - The An. And we are missing her from the Canary Island and now by the cooperative’s name, but we also have them and I.

04:59 - That’s a I would like to to explain to you that darker thoughts to the second degree SPATHIS, which are comparatives that agglutinative several first degree comparatives and the lighter ones to be sent to the Greek parties, which are cooperative’s that can work by their own or in collaboration with others within a secondary capacity. At the European level, you can see that the cooperative movement that gathers more members with their coöperative is the one for Germany, followed by Austria and Spain.

If we take a look on the the relevance of a agricultural production at European level, we can appreciate that those countries that have higher contribution of agriculture sectors to national GDP are located mainly in the eastern part of Europe, with the exception of Spain.

06:05 - As you know, there were degrees of contribution of agriculture to the of the agriculture sector are linked with higher rates of economic development.

06:17 - So I guess these are not good news for a Spanish economy, but they are for Spanish agriculture. However, if we consider the relevance of agricultural employment in Spain, so say it much better figures, a lower rate of employment indicates higher efficiency rates.

06:42 - By the other hand, as you can see, most eastern countries still require a considerable number of workers homes.

06:51 - Okay, so now I will show you Hispanics and cooperative trends.

06:56 - Over the last year or so, you can understand how the cooperative movement has evolved.

07:01 - First, even if we represented several titles of legal entities, 90 percent of them are first and second degree cooperatives, which I have already explained, and how they work in the next year. You can appreciate a slight downward trend over the last few year in terms of a number of cooperatives.

07:29 - However, we watch this chart, you can notice that the cooperative billing has increased by almost 60 percent in the same years.

07:39 - So that’s a good sign because it implies that our cooperatives are start to merge with each other in bigger ones and therefore they are.

07:54 - In a stronger position now regarding the sector in Spain, you can observe that the wells with highground, billion of the park and fruits and vegetables, even if free some vegetables and olive oil sector cooperatives have much higher buildings than the ones from other sectors. Looking at the competitive employment, you can see that it has slowly during the last year as the comparative size was also increasing.

08:34 - And in the next map you can see that a little.

08:39 - The French co-operative movement generates more employment and it’s followed by Germany and Spain. And finally, regarding internationalisation made few years, you can see that a Spanish psychopathic exports represent 80 percent, 18 percent of total the food sector building, excluding the fishing sector, and that the rate of exporting cooperatives versus total cooperatives in Spain is place at 30 percent.

09:15 - And the experts believe it’s, as you can see here, at a 32 percent regarding the total capacity building.

09:26 - And so that was all for myself. A, I give the floor to my colleague Sachedina, who will explain you.

09:35 - It would be key to her strength of cooperatives and why they represent successful business both.

09:52 - Susanna Gurmeet. Now, know a could you see my screen? Yes, but this is not even full screen now.

10:09 - Well, and thank you for for allowing us today.

10:15 - To be taken about coproduced, well, after having some figures on the table, we will now move on to the council cooperative’s.

10:29 - We have heard about it many, many times, but do we know with this with a co-operative company about this company, it’s nothing more than a company or type of company which like any other produce or or goods and services and supplies and has to generate profit, has to be competitive in the market just to compete in the market.

11:00 - The moment that generates profits. And it’s not competitive. It’s no longer a co-operative.

11:06 - But apart from these characteristics, a very important it has a very important particularity is speaking about the dominance because it is owned by its members.

11:19 - So there are in the center of them on the of the conceptional members who, in addition to being members, are also suppliers of the cooperative and besides are is customers and workers. So as you can see in these days, like they plan to play an important role in these in this concept.

11:44 - So we will see later on what all of this implies in the capacity formula is widespread internationally, as you can see in this slide, that there is an international cooperative alliance we have seen since 1990 and 1995 sorry, setout the seven principles that identify cooperatives.

12:08 - We are going to to go through each each principle, but we will highlight some of them, such as voluntary membership, democratic participation, training for the members of a possible commitment to the community because they compromise with the community in rural areas is very strong in terms of cooperatives.

12:34 - And you can see in the in the in the the lower part of these slides, among the 300 most important cooperatives, almost 35 percent are from the get food sector also is an important and well upon a free for the be in terms of of of food sector.

12:59 - But apart this, what is the market situation in which we we find today a I you know, today we are exposed to multiple effects of great importance that are without any doubt conditioning our business models from the globalization of the economy.

13:21 - A thought in this case, it can sometimes present opportunities to climate change and sustainability, which are imposing US obligations that require us to invest.

13:34 - Some sometimes imply limitations, the economy, the circular economy.

13:40 - But we are also facing the challenge of belonging to a sector that in most cases is highly fragmented and is therefore a bit thin or the balance of the food chains.

13:54 - All of these effects are also aggravated by the population of rural areas and the lack of interest in international replacements.

14:07 - In this way and in this context, we have an expectant consumer who is asking us for efficiency, for nutritional improvements, something something like this.

14:27 - So am speaking about cooperatives, business models.

14:34 - We can we can think about the reality, because all of these market issues do take into account the cost that the producer may incur.

14:46 - One of the talents that we have now on the table is the sustainability certainly is a challenge with a white perspective that is very environmental, but also a social, but also economic.

15:05 - So can a producer face it alone? Will be the market pay for this offer.

15:12 - We have two questions for the table, then we will try to answer with the other additional questions, such as why is the cooperative enterprise an optimal choice for a producer? In fact, no business formula ensures the success of a business model, but its characteristics can sometimes have a positive influence.

15:42 - And in this way, a cooperative gives the opportunity to the producer to be in a larger project that a farmer on his own could not afford.

15:57 - In speaking about the cooperative system, the cooperative formula has certain specificities that catalyses, for example, these three are the most important of this movement. So the profitability of the parties you can about this issue, that the objective of the cooperatives is to maximize the value of their member farms with the reps from their typical condition of owner, supplier and beneficiary.

16:27 - So the member at the center of the cooperatives part of this, the group Baalu, the objective is to increase the effectiveness in speaking about market access, but also the efficiency reducing costs through collective action, action that is going to be professional in a in a whole.

16:52 - And the most important of these three countries are the people at you are, you know. The they are very different from other of companies because they put the people in the center of the system of the Kabaddi Besim.

17:11 - Why do we consider that 80 percent is a valid for all to undertake new business models in the rural areas? Well, from the production point of view, the cooperatives allow to proof.

17:27 - The productive efficiency of the members, for example, through economies of scale by an employer, through providing advice and through providing professional services to the farmers, they are market oriented, adapting their members production production to the new needs of opportunities of consumers.

17:52 - They are they are contributing to the rebalancing of the food chains, improving the position of the other partners in the value chain, adopted added value, consolidating the alliance with their partners.

18:07 - But they are also mitigation work in the mitigation of the price of oil flexibility.

18:13 - They tried to diversify market raise rates.

18:17 - Reserves, they can be used in a crisis situation, etc. , Of course, they have an interest, international projection, seizing opportunities in emerging markets, diversifying costumer customers story they are diversify in markets, etc.

18:38 - And of course, they are working every day focusing on innovation, allowing partners to participate and taking advantage of innovation issues through European projects, through local products, but always working in the joint innovation.

18:59 - So in this way. A co-operatives are seen market challenged, this all market challenge previously is playing it like an opportunity, and we are working hard to move from a linear model to a circular model, but also giving value to these steps up.

19:20 - Preachin cooperation as a solution must have interesting success stories that have been able to undertake new business models for the revitalization of rural areas.

19:33 - I just finished a. Speaking about a cooperation cooperative as a solution, we can show you some interesting examples in different areas, for example, focusing on the areas of remote areas in terms of food, we have interesting experiences erected to the food supply chains like Farming Sanzio, which is located in Balearic Island Group in more than 11 cooperatives, representing more than 600 farmers selling 500 products from the island to the rest of the consumers.

20:15 - And focus this experience in in in in in an.

20:27 - In the quality of the product showing into the to the consumer, the the expectations of the of the farmers and giving to the to the to the consumers also experience is meant to incentivize some activities to bring the consumer everything there is behind it, the competition and the growth of the cooperatives.

20:49 - They are also somebody that is ready to be able to value chains in terms of bioenergy, but also in terms of micropenis in delivering some interesting products of added value today, which is horticulture, pharmaceutical and cosmetic commodities markets, but also initiatives related to the ecosystem services linking the food with the gastronome, with the tourism, with the people in involvement in in other activities in the rural areas.

21:24 - So just to finish, so we have someone like Operationalised to join a forum of producers to revitalize rural areas through a business model that otherwise could not be carried out. So that’s soon.

21:38 - Thank you very much for for our participation.

21:42 - And just listen and thank you, Pablo, for this presentation.

21:47 - At least I got much more information about the cooperative.

21:51 - And it’s a really interesting business model.

21:55 - Yes. Ask people if they could ask their questions, and we already have two of them.

22:00 - Do you see the three of them? Do you see any new consumer cooperative movement moving into agricultural production? Any kids, any consumer consumer cooperative movement, so maybe I should explain the reason for my question, because we have a need for capital in agriculture.

22:25 - So for farming to raise that capital, it’s difficult.

22:28 - And I’m wondering if you see any movement of consumers actually going into corporate social, social farming.

22:40 - Well, in Spain, there is in terms of competition for part of consumer.

22:46 - There is no so much initiative. I think there are masses of people, for example, in Sweden, that that is a cop at the moment of division of consumers.

22:57 - But in that case, there are some interesting examples in Spain and of other type of cooperatives. For some point, the business school there is a cooperative, including in a lot of sectors working in an adjoining way.

23:17 - But in that case, it’s only our fourth quarter.

23:19 - We seem to think if I had a similar question on this community supported agriculture, that is a question for Pablo on the statistics you show for employment, agriculture, and maybe it’s a bit of a tricky indicator because we want to.

23:42 - Yeah, you say it’s a positive economic indicator to have less employment, but at the same time, we want I mean, this project and other projects working with rural development, we want more jobs in rural areas.

23:57 - You know, but what I have said is that, OK, we we are not a boy.

24:10 - We don’t have such high unemployment rates as the eastern countries.

24:17 - But at the same time, if you realized the cooperative movement in Spain, I have also shown that has been increasing the number of employment during the past years.

24:33 - So, of course, we need to do to make a stronger cooperatives where we can a.

24:47 - More, there is also a fact that we we we need to do to be more effective with our labor, and I think that was the result of that map that I saw in that book.

25:06 - Of course, we need to generate employment, but this is employment has to be enough efficient so we can make a profitability and at the same time, a create a more more employed. So I don’t know.

25:23 - This is clear, Mr. . It’s striking that we agree.

25:30 - Mm, do that we have a question from Brendan, would you like to take it yourself? About well, yeah, sorry, I just wanted to ask about in Ireland, like financial and agricultural producer, co-ops are very successful and prevalent, but there’s only a handful of worker cooperatives and they all seem to be taxi firms, about 10 in the country, I think, and small taxi firms.

26:02 - And so worker cooperatives could make a massive difference in in rural Ireland, I think, particularly for farmers, because they have they don’t seem to have caught on.

26:14 - Now, in Spain and northern Italy, they’re very, very successful, like the Mondragón and all the other movements.

26:20 - I’m wondering, is there some historic reasons behind us are strong government policy or is that we can point to that says corporate worker cooperatives are so strong in Spain compared to other countries? Because for these reasons, because we could do it more of them here in Ireland, I think.

26:43 - Well, I can there are parts of the. If you are disaggregated, the cooperative movement in other countries in the U. S. may be a cultural fact, but it has some positive effects.

27:12 - But we we would like to be more close to the northern countries, perhaps not for the Irish one, but a other another cooperative movements which are much more aggregated and they are much more stronger because if we compare the size of our cooperatives and with this once, ours are still a quite a small.

27:45 - So this is a disadvantage at a time of competing with the the suppliers, the the retailers, etc. .

27:56 - So so, Suzanne, I do want to compliment you since you are speaking about the Mondragon sample in this case, without any doubt that this initiative has been in support by the regional government for some time ago from the beginning of this initiative, since this was a very serious cooperative and has made a boost for the economy of the of the business. So in the short term, it has represent an important role in this in these regions. So in this way, ESES is advancing every day in in improving their activities from the from the production of some supplies to the university of giving in it with them with activities linked to the gastronomy for the region from the from the region.

So this aid in this case is all there in the support of the of the regional government, I think. Yeah, no, thanks very much.

29:12 - It’s it’s just interesting how this happens, the subtle differences between, you know, countries within the European Union.

29:18 - And so anyway, thanks a lot. Thank you. I have one more this one suggestion of Negrito in the chat to make sure you’ve seen that too much.

29:31 - Also, put a link and we have an answer as well to your question to us on consumer comp. . Maybe I’d like to finish with one.

29:41 - You showed the trend is less and less cooperatives that are bigger and bigger.

29:45 - Is the trend the same for cooperative working in emerging sectors? Emerging markets? Are those new cooperatives that start, or is it like older cooperatives that diversify the activity? Well, the figures that I have sold, I gather they are showing that the data for the overall Hispanic sector a so of course, is a we would have shown more detail and that no sector and for instance, we could have seen a different name.

30:31 - But I wouldn’t say that they that we have realized that there are a specific kind of cooperatives involved in specific activities that are growing in a much more than than the others. And Susannah, correctly, if you have another view on this.

30:55 - Well, depending on the sector, but most of these are looking for these these these opportunities in in terms of the the the improvement of the activities through the through the sophistication of the services, for example, based, you know, focusing on the economy, on our economy.

31:18 - I do know there is that is there is an opportunity of improvement of improvement.

31:27 - And also it is important to to highlight that in working on an economy or working by economy is not new for the cooperatives because they from from from the beginning, the cooperatives, they are always working to do to to do their best to to make the most for the for the wastes and the resources and the by of the cooperatives.

31:56 - So they are now growing in this way, I think.

32:02 - Ok, thank you. Thank you so much, Suzanne and Pablo, for the presentation and your answers.

32:08 - Thank you for all the questions. Before we we stopped this meeting, these two points, actually three points we’d like to share. First, please answer if you answer the poll, the questions that are opening now, we’d like to know a bit more about what people think about this coffee talk if we shouldn’t go on with them.

32:34 - Your dinner next week will be a virtual study visit we planned for next month, the theme on climate neutral farming and then the month after, we’ll be focusing on innovative business models.

32:48 - So you will get to go for it. You will get some updates for that.

32:53 - And then also, please all turn on your camera, if you would like, I think, to myself from the Swedish Agricultural University to to put that on their newsletter, it would be good to have everybody on the on the screen so then we can take a screenshot and.

33:18 - Ok, so I think we have. Most of the people too much.

33:23 - Do you want us to move, do something? Well, yeah. Could we I would could we stop the sharing of the screen maybe two years ago. So if everybody’s on.

33:36 - Cameron gives us a better picture for the newsletter.

33:43 - Great, thanks a lot. Ok, thank you, everybody, for joining and hope to see you next week.

33:55 - Thank you. Thank you by. Then. Thanks a lot, Camilla.

34:21 - And how is the process of now with the planning of the of the last of April and May? Is it ongoing or item or.

34:31 - Yeah, I have to check it email from Carina and we will start the communication.

34:39 - I hope at the end of the day suffice, but yeah, I think it will not be so complicated.

34:48 - We have most of the content. So, yeah, it’s really great and it’s good to have the continuity as well.

34:56 - I think I mean, we have 30 people. A good turnout, even if you want to now.

35:05 - Ok, yeah. Thanks a lot. See you back here tomorrow.

35:14 - Thank you. It’s one of those executive results that will tell the results. All right.

35:31 - But. I think. Um. Mother and I would gladly Joy Muehler Mushaima.

35:49 - A. That’s the corner stones are that you just have.

36:01 - So they can’t find. For the first time, the.

36:11 - It know I mean, it is a question on the soldier I class very negative about inexpensive techniques.

36:27 - Also make it look what is only gets you. We have no right to make a contribution that could be of the latter group, which some say only political.

36:58 - A new development expert. What do you get your sister is already bombing, OK? When I. The.

37:20 - But, of course, in. On know the advantages of where we go somewhere in middle where? Even. Bomb cowmen.

37:40 - Because if that’s the right thing to. Now, just the wet things a little bit after. .