The 23,000 co-operative businesses in France have a million employees and can be found in every sector. In 2014, their combined turnover was nearly 307 billion euros, including subsidiaries. 26.1 million members participate in the democratic governance of co-operative businesses. They are strongly rooted regionally with 73% of the headquarters located in the regions outside Paris.
They are leaders on several different markets, for example:
- agricultural co-operatives represent 40% of the French food industry with well-known brands (Yoplait, Banette, Delpeyrat, Nicolas Feuillate, etc.);
- co-operatives of retailers represent 30% of the retailing industry (Leclerc, Système U, Krys, Intersport, etc.);
- co-operative banks represent 60% of retail banking (Crédit Agricole, BPCE, Crédit Mutuel).
26.1 million members are involved in French co-operative businesses. Unlike companies listed on the stock exchange, which have to serve the interests of their shareholders and focus on short-term profitability, the priority of co-operative businesses is giving the surpluses back to their members, who are also their customers, producers or employees.
Co-operative businesses play a major role in the economy and have been expanding and diversifying through acquisitions, mergers and creating subsidiaries. Nevertheless, to remain true to their model, they respect the fact that these changes must always benefit the co-operative’s members (members or co-operators) and that their governance must stay democratic.
The Top 100 co-operative businesses (2016 edition)
Economically successful businesses
The combined turnover of the Top 100 co-operative businesses in France was 240 billion euros in 2014. A 5% increase since 2012, this shows the dynamism and resilience of the co-operative model during the economic and financial crisis that our society has been experiencing.
Five cooperatives of the Top 100 have turnovers above 15 billion euros and 31 had turnovers above 1 billion euros in 2014.
Two co-operative businesses (E. Leclerc, Crédit Agricole) are among the top 10 World businesses.
The co-operative banking groups – Crédit Agricole, BPCE et Crédit Mutuel-CIC – are among the leading banks in both France and Europe with net banking income of 30.2, 23.3 and 15.4 billion euros respectively.
Businesses fuelling local development
The Top 100 co-operative businesses and their subsidiaries employ 911,439 people, which is 5.1% of all employees in France. Since 2012, the number of employees in co-operative businesses rose by 7%.
Businesses serving their members and their communities
25 million members participate in the democratic governance of the Top 100 co-operative businesses by holding equal shares and defining collectively how to meet their needs.
To find out more :
Sectoral survey of all co-operatives businesses (2016 edition - French version)
Top 100 co-operative businesses (2016 edition - French version)