WASHINGTON — National Consumer Cooperative Bank, a leading financial services company, released its annual National Consumer Cooperative Bank Co-op 100 listing the nation’s 100 highest revenue-earning cooperative businesses, totaling more than $173 billion in 2007.
The National Consumer Cooperative Bank Co-op 100 debuted in 1991, and for the past 17 years, has been the only yearly report of its kind to track cooperative revenues and success of these vital businesses in the U.S.
When the first report was released, America’s top 100 cooperatives had generated $81.4 billion in revenues and now less than two decades later, revenues have more than doubled to more than $173 billion.
Although there have been changes to the companies appearing on the list, the growth of cooperative sector has remained constant, indicating the influential role these businesses play in the marketplace.
As the numbers indicate, cooperatives are a driving force in today’s economy, generating nearly $250 billion in annual revenue, and with total assets of cooperatives nationwide surpassing $1 trillion.
This year’s list saw both new and established cooperatives in the top 100.
Below are the top revenue producers in each of the main sectors tracked by the Co-op 100.
CHS Inc., based in Saint Paul, Minn., reported $17.2 billion in revenues and maintained its first place position on the list.
Dairy Farmers of America, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., reported $11.1 billion in revenues earning the number two ranking.
TOPCO Associates LLC, based in Skokie, Ill., reported $8.8 billion in revenue during 2007 for the fourth place position.
Wakefern Food Corp., headquartered in Elizabeth, N.J., reported $7.8 billion in revenue for fifth place on the list.
Hardware and lumber
ACE Hardware, based in Oakbrook, Ill., earned $3.9 billion in revenue and coming in at number eight on the list.
Do it Best, Corp., located in Fort Wayne, Ind., placed 14th this year with a reported $2.7 billion in revenues.
Agribank, FCB, based in Saint Paul, Minn., reported $3.5 billion and maintained the same position on the list from the previous year at number nine.
CoBank, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo., earned nearly $3.1 billion in revenues moving up four spots to 12th place.
HealthPartners, Inc., located in South Bloomington, came in at number 13 on the year’s list with a reported $2.7 billion revenue.
Group Health Cooperative, headquartered in Seattle, Wash., reported $2.6 billion in revenues earning it its 16th place ranking.
Energy and communications
National Cable Television Cooperative, Inc., from Lenexa, Kan., came in at number 22 on the list, with nearly $1.9 billion in revenues.
Seminole Electric Cooperative, of Tampa, Fla., earned the 36th position with a reported $1.2 billion in revenues during 2007.
In addition to generating billions of dollars in revenue, cooperatives directly employ nearly 500,000 people across the country, and when including indirect and induced effects, support more than 1.2 million jobs.
As many sectors absorb the slowing activity of the current economic conditions, cooperatives and its members often fair better in difficult conditions than investor-owned firms, due to its adaptable structure and governing body.
Since cooperatives are controlled by their members, the individuals who use and benefit from the goods and services provided, the cooperative can more readily readjust to market conditions than many of its investor-backed counterparts.
As a result, cooperatives are organized to maximize returns and are prepared to weather a down turn, like today’s current marketplace.
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 the cooperative’s policies and procedures.
By pooling resources, members can leverage their shared power to buy, sell, market or bargain as one group, achieving economies of scale and sharing in any profits generated.
Today, there are more than 30,000 cooperatives in the U.S. which account for more than 45,000 places of businesses.
The entire NCB Co-op 100 report is available at www.ncb.coop.
For any questions regarding cooperatives and/or the list contact Richard Dines at 703-647-2319 or Barry Silver at 703-302-1955.
For more information on cooperatives visit www.go.coop.