Governance: the heart and motor of cooperatives

Cogeca President Christian Pèes underlined at the Cogeca Presidency Business Forum today that self-governance was one of the keys to the success of European cooperatives.

Speaking at the event on “The evolution of governance in EU agri-cooperatives”, Cogeca President Christian Pèes said “Cooperatives are a business model with specific values, which form part of the global economy. Cooperatives defend the interests of their members, which is exactly why they were created. Business governance is a multi-faceted model that has evolved over the course of time”, he said.

“Agri-cooperatives have also become more professional in response to market pressures and their governance structures have adapted accordingly. Training for cooperative executives is therefore essential, so that members can still pull the strings of their own cooperative. The size of a cooperative has nothing to do with the quality of its governance.”

Wrapping up, Mr Pèes said “We find ourselves in a globalised economy nowadays. We have moved from an economy driven by farmers, to an economy where the consumer is king. Cooperatives must translate consumer expectations into concrete projects, which can only be done with the full involvement of their members.”

“Up against increasing challenges, it is becoming more important than ever that the EU Institutions recognise the vital role agri-cooperatives play in European agriculture and encourage their development”. Promoting the development of producer organisations, like cooperatives, has also already been singled out as a priority by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan for the next four years, which Cogeca has welcomed.

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