World Cooperative Monitor 2023: Eight worker cooperatives in the top 300 of cooperatives

26 January 2024

The latest issue of the World Cooperative Monitor explores the economic and social impact, and the capacity of the largest cooperatives and mutuals worldwide to convey the cooperative identity and advantage. 

Thursday the 25th of January 2023 marked the release of the latest World Cooperative Monitor (WCM) report from International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in collaboration with European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (EURICSE).

The WCM seeks to achieve three main objectives with its newest iteration; providing visibility to the cooperative movement; maintaining a database on the largest cooperatives; and responding to the knowledge needs of the larger cooperatives.

 “The Top 300 rankings and sectoral analyses featured in this report showcase the diversity and magnitude of cooperative impact” says Jeroen Douglas, Director General of the ICA.

The WCM report features a ranking of the top 300 cooperatives in the world based on turnover, with a second ranking focusing on the ratio of turnover to GDP per capita.

This year’s rankings saw five worker cooperatives in the top 300, Sistema Unimed in 34th, Corporación Mondragón in 45th, Fundación Espriu in 205th, SACMI in 234th and Manutencoop in 299th. The per capita rankings add ULCCS Ltd in 158th, Copservir Ltda in 203rd and Coopservice in 266th bringing the total up to eight.

This showed a significant increase from last year when only three workers cooperatives made the top 300 and four made the per capita list. Perhaps the most impressive is that Sistema Unimed ranked 4th in the GDP per capita rankings.

In addition, this year’s report focuses on the capacity of large cooperatives to convey their identity and inform the public about the tangible and intangible benefits they provide to members. The report shows that cooperatives employ diverse elements, including direct statements, historical narratives, structures, business practices, and descriptions of their cooperative nature, to elucidate their cooperative identity. The way they highlight members’ benefits varies according to the type of cooperatives.

The data used to compile the rankings comes from ‘annual and sustainability reports, existing databases of economic data, data collected by national associations, research institutes, and other organisations, and the use of a questionnaire to collect data directly from enterprises’.

There was a strong emphasis from Gianluca Salvatori, Secretary General of EURICSE on the importance of data and data collection for cooperatives. With the increasing importance of data, cooperatives are sat on a ‘gold mine’ that could be utilised more effectively with more robust data. Accessible knowledge is one of the factors that differentiates cooperatives from corporations so better data would be vital in helping to promote the cooperative model.

To read more about the report, the ranking by sectors, download the full report here and the executive summary here.