Danish farmer cooperatives: Development, importance and lessons

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Documents

The Danish farmer-owned cooperatives started back in the 1880s. The overall aim was to ensure farmers’ market power and market access in the marketing chain. Since then, cooperatives have emerged in most major agricultural and food industries. In certain industries, the market shares of cooperatives are large and dominant. In other sectors, market shares are smaller, and in some sectors, cooperative ownership has completely ceased.
A number of prerequisites have been crucial for the significant development of the Danish farmer cooperative industry: A bottom-up approach has been important, so that farmers themselves have driven the development and have had strong incentives to strengthen the cooperative model. A certain level of social capital, a human cohesion, a certain level of education as well as a certain degree of trust and access to infrastructure have also been important factors.
Today, the development and importance of cooperatives is recognized as a key driver behind the strong international competitiveness of the agricultural and food sectors in Denmark.
The purpose of the article is thus to describe and analyze the development, the significance and the underlying drivers of the farmer-owned cooperatives. Based on literature studies, case studies and interviews, experiences are summarized and possible lessons are presented. Opportunities and barriers to transferring Danish cooperative experiences to other countries are analyzed and evaluated, and a number of recommendations are presented.
Opportunities and barriers to transferring Danish cooperative experiences to other countries are analyzed and evaluated. The results in terms of market access etc. meet the needs of farmers in many less developed countries. However, a number of barriers are identified, and the cooperative model must be adapted to the specific circumstances in individual countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCooperativismo & Desarrollo
Volume29
Issue number119
Number of pages34
ISSN2382-4220
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 284633423