Agriculture cooperatives continue to dominate annual Top 100 co-op list


WASHINGTON – The top 41 agricultural cooperatives earned $58 billion in revenues during 2002, according to National Cooperative Bank’s annual list of the nation’s 100 highest revenue-earning cooperatives

The NCB Co-op 100, the only annual report of its kind, is an important indicator of cooperative business activity across the country.

The 100 cooperatives on the list earned approximately $119 billion in combined revenue, demonstrating the vital role cooperatives play in the national economy.

Successful. Reflecting the industry’s success, the co-op ranked at 100 in 2002 reported revenues of $346 million – a $50 million increase in revenue significantly exceeding the reported amount of the 2001 co-op in the 100 slot.

“When I look at the revenues reflected in this year’s NCB Co-op 100 for agriculture and other cooperative sectors, I’m extremely impressed,” said Charles E. Snyder, president and chief executive officer of National Cooperative Bank.

“For more than 100 years, America’s cooperatives have not only survived, but flourished – prevailing through adversity and economic downturns, bringing fiscal stability and prosperity to millions of people.”

What’s a cooperative? Although similar to other business models, a cooperative has several unique features.

It is owned and controlled by its members who have joined together to use the cooperative’s goods, services and facilities.

A board of directors, elected by the membership, sets both policies and procedures.

By pooling resources, members can increase power to buy, sell, market, or bargain as one group, achieving economics of scale and sharing in any profits generated.

In addition, communities benefit both socially and fiscally by the cooperatives’ ability to access and deliver goods and services from across the nation.

Across the country. According to the National Cooperative Business Association, there are 48,000 cooperatives in the United States.

These entities exist in a number of sectors, including agriculture, grocery, hardware and lumber, finance, energy, housing and others.

Many cooperatives on the Top 100 list are household names such as Land O’Lakes, ACE Hardware, and Ocean Spray.


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