The Spanish cooperative sector as engine for growth

The results of the study "Economic-financial diagnosis of agro-food cooperatives in Spain (2015-2017)", carried out by researchers Narciso Arcas Lario, Domingo García Pérez de Lerma and Jorge Luis Sánchez Navarro, from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, and published by Cajamar, reveal the good health of Spanish agro-food cooperatives.

One of the main objectives of the study, which has compiled information from 447 Spanish agro-food cooperatives, has been to find out details about the financial situation of these entities, taking into account aspects such as their size, the type of cooperative or their activity. It has also sought to analyze their economic status based on the growth and profitability of each cooperative, as well as their accounting.

One of the main points of the study is the importance of agro-food cooperatives, especially given their socio-economic relevance and their role as a driving force, as well the "increase in their bargaining power when dealing with customers and suppliers," says the text.

The document mentions that agro-food cooperatives supply consumers with "healthy and quality food while contributing to the development and social cohesion of the rural environment, since they improve the income of producers and help keep the population in the area," say the authors.

Thus, the importance of agro-food cooperativism applies to both Spain and the European Union, where, according to the organization COGECA (General Committee of Agricultural Cooperativism in the European Union), these companies invoiced 347,000 million Euro in 2014, "which corresponds to around 40% of the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products," says the Cajamar study.

It also reports that the growth in the turnover of Spanish cooperatives has been progressive, just like their size, which improves their productivity. This growth took place even during the 2009 crisis, which shows the strength of the Spanish cooperative sector as a growth engine.

The analysis also shows that the growth in turnover, capital and gross added value is higher among younger and second-degree cooperatives. These have better liquidity and good prospects for development in the short term.



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