A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

The 2016 Co-Operative Summit in Quebec City:
an ever more active cooperative movement

October 10, 2016

Cooperatives and mutual funds from around the world gathered in Quebec City, Canada, from 11th to 13th October for the third International Cooperative Summit. With more than 200 speakers including the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the author and political commentator Robert Reich, and the essayist Jeremy Rifkin, this year's theme was “the power of cooperatives”.

These great thinkers of the world economy reminded us of the importance of cooperatives when facing major economic, social and environmental challenges: J. Rifkin accordingly called for a new world economic vision, arguing that the capitalist system was failing. For Reich, cooperatives are an anti-crisis weapon for getting out of stagnation. For J. Stiglitz, finally, financialization has led to increasing inequalities and short-term logic. In this context, where volatility is expected to persist, “cooperatives are the most likely to manage subsequent risks rather than the private sector”.

Good governance and regulation also play a role and are the strength of agricultural cooperatives, which alone generate 85 billion Euros in turnover, or 40% of the French agri-food sector, and employ more than 165,000 employees. There were, quite understandably, many participants at the Summit. The debate on the future and the power to act of agricultural cooperatives was initially the subject of several studies and articles which were made public during this Summit.

A study on international cooperative partnerships in the agricultural sector, in collaboration with the audit firm PwC, the Coop Fédérée, Invivo and Crédit Agricole, reports “a growing logic for partnerships since 2005”, while “European cooperatives seem to be the most active with partnerships on the 5 continents”. These strategies are based on a strategic partnership approach, the report says. “Strategic motives vary from zone to zone: to secure production in Europe and to seek new markets in emerging economies”.

Another more targeted perspective is that of the Dutch agricultural cooperatives, which were the subject of a scientific paper written by Jos Bijman of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands. He returns to what makes these agricultural cooperatives successful. This success is explained notably by facilitating legislation but also by effective internal governance and external growth1.

Furthermore, one of the highlights of the Summit was the debate around the UN's Sustainable Development Objectives (SDOs) to 2030 and the role of cooperatives, which led to a joint preliminary statement. Cooperatives and mutual societies thus recognize that they are a major lever for the implementation of sustainable development strategies and for solving major global challenges. The cooperatives have identified five areas where action can be taken, including food security.

Finally, again this year, Christian Pèes, Chairman of the Euralis Group and Momagri, spoke on 13th October of the role of agricultural cooperatives, together with other members of the French Agricultural Cooperation, such as Michel Prugue, President of Maïsadour and of Coop de France, but also Philippe Mangin, President of InVivo. For the latter “one of the objectives of this Summit is to succeed in being associated with world governance with the objective of re-establishing regulation to the world economic organization”, an objective which Momagri can only support.

The cooperative model has not stopped proving its economic efficiency in a context of questioning the benefits of globalization without safeguards and a generalized global agricultural crisis. This Summit proves it once again. Indeed, on the agricultural level, without acting as a substitute for the mechanism of government regulation, the cooperative remains the most successful form of a producer organization.

1 https://www.sommetinter.coop/fr/cdn/farfuture/(...)-bijman-article-eng-abby_agricultural_cooperatives2016-08-09.pdf

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Paris, 15 December 2018