Resource Library – reports

resourcelib2Below is just some of a wide variety selection of reading materials available for those looking for further information on Agricultural Co-operation and Farmer Co-ops.

If you have a particular area of interest and cannot find what you are looking for below, please get in touch at and we may be able to find something to help.


Introduction to Co-ops 2012 – This report provides a comprehensive summary of basic information on the co-operative way of organising and operating a business.

Conceptual framework of Co-ops – Mazzarol – This paper outlines a conceptual framework for approaching research into the co-operative enterprise business model and its sustainability. The model examines the co-op from three perspectives, that of the member, that of the co-op as a business entity, and the wider systems level.

McKinsey on Co-ops 2012 – This publication offers a wealth of new thinking on a wide range of topics, incluidng how co-ops grow, the global trends they face, anbd the organisational and governance challenges they must overcome.

Critical Issue for Agri Co-ops – In this article, we introduce the topics identified as challenges and issues currently affecting the success of cooperatives.

Measuring Co-op Performance 2007 – The task of measuring the financial performance of co-ops is made problematic by the nature of the co-operative form of business. In particular, many of the commonly used financial measures (return on equity, return on assets, net margins on sales etc) do not account for the cost of using members’ equity in financing a co-op’s operations.

New Co-op Issues – This article briefly reviews the increased interest in new cooperative development, factors for successful cooperative development, and strategies to improve the performance of new and emerging cooperatives. The article highlights issues identified by a panel of cooperative leaders, USDA specialists and academic experts.

Support for Farmers’ Co-ops – The imbalances in bargaining power between the contracting parties in the food supply chain have drawn much attention from farmers, their organisations, as policy makers. The European Commission is committed to facilitating the restructuring of the sector by encouraging the creation of voluntary agricultural producer organisations. DG Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a large study, “Support for Farmers’ Co-operatives”, that will provide the background knowledge to help farmers organise themselves in co-operatives as a way to consolidate their market orientation and so generate a solid market income.

NEF co-ops-unleashed – more than half of UK company equity is owned abroad and only just over 12% by individuals. The interests of those who own Britain’s businesses are often misaligned with those of other stakeholders, such as employees, customers, service users and local communities. This report highlights the needs for a supportive policy environment, with availability of know-how to co-operators.


Challenges for financing Agri Co-opsThis article summarises the results from a survey of co-operative leaders to better understand current challenges in financing agricultural co-operatives.


Governing Agri Co-ops – If there is one organisational attribute that differentiates co-operatives from other organisations, it is the way they are governed.

Co-op Board Responsibility 2005 – All boards of directors are under increasing pressure to perform well and justify their decisions. Cooperative boards are no exception. But increasing scrutiny of director behavior is not always accompanied by better information about exactly what directors are supposed to do and how they are to perform their many duties.

Strategy Issues for Agri Co-ops – Agricultural cooperatives are the vertical extension of the farm business and a strategy must encompass this aspect. Strategy alignment on patrons’ interest is critical in ensuring the success of the cooperative. This article summarizes the results from a survey of cooperative leaders to better understand current issues in strategy development for agricultural cooperatives.


HR Development for co-ops J. Tom Webb’s report aims to answer the question – “I know how Human Resource Departments function in investor-run corporations but how should human relationship issues be dealt with in a co-operative business?”

Roles of Co-op Managers Talented, responsible managers are an absolute necessity for any co-operative to succeed, believes Jim Wadsworth, Agricultural Economist with USDA Co-operative Programs.


Communicating Co-op Value –  This article examines how co-operatives are meeting the challenge of communicating the “co-operative value package”.

Purpose Identity and Member Value Proposition 2015 – This paper examines the issues of purpose, identity and the development of member value within Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises (CMEs). It aims to explain the nature and importance of “purpose” in CMEs and how this is communicated by such firms to their members. The paper finds that while the concept of purpose is still ill-defined and informally applied by most enterprises, it remains a key part of the way in which CMEs seek to differentiate themselves from other types of business.