National Cooperative Bank, which provides banking solutions for cooperatives nationwide, this week released its annual NCB Co-op 100, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. In 2016, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $208 billion. The report also highlights the ways co-ops commit to their members, sustainability, education, impact, kindness and their community.
“The economic impact of cooperatives is critical to our economy,” said Charles E. Snyder, president and CEO of NCB. “Cooperatives can be seen in just about every industry across America, including local food, finance, housing and energy. Whether it’s (bringing) fresh local food through a food co-op or affordable homeownership through a housing cooperative, cooperatives help strengthen communities.”
The top revenue producers in the grocery and agriculture sectors identified by the report are:
- Wakefern Food Corp./Shoprite, based in Keasbey, New Jersey, reported $12.8 billion in revenue, earning the fourth ranking this year.
- Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., based in Kansas City, Kansas, reported revenue of $9.2 billion, earning the fifth position on the list.
- CHS Inc., based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, reported $30.3 billion in revenue in 2016, maintaining its first-place position.
- Dairy Farmers of America, based in Kansas City, Missouri, reported $13.5 billion in revenues, earning the number two spot.
While the companies and rankings change each year, the cooperative sector continues to advance, playing an increasingly influential role in the national and global economy, says NCB. Released annually in October during National Co-op Month, the NCB Co-op 100 is one of the ways the bank says it strives to educate and promote the importance of this sector. As a long-time advocate for cooperatives, NCB’s mission is providing financing to support the growth and expansion of cooperative businesses, while also deploying hundreds of millions of dollars to support underserved communities and cooperative expansion initiatives.
Cooperatives exist in a cross-section of sectors, including agriculture, grocery, hardware and lumber, finance, energy and communications, housing, and recreation among others. These co-ops provide more than two million jobs and create more than $75 billion in annual wages with revenue of nearly $650 billion.
Although similar to other business models, a cooperative has several unique features. It is owned and controlled by its members, who have joined together to use the cooperative’s goods, services and facilities. A board of directors, elected by the membership, sets the cooperative’s policies and procedures. By pooling resources, members can leverage their shared power to buy, sell, market or bargain as one group, achieving economies of scale and sharing in any profits generated.