Food co-operatives contribute significantly to NZ economy, study

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 25th January 2017

Auckland, New Zealand

A new study has found that co-operatives contribute significantly to the New Zealand economy, along with providing jobs.

Food co-operatives feature heavily with Fonterra earning the highest amount of revenue out of all of New Zealand’s co-operative.

The study, conducted and published by Massey University in New Zealand, discovered that the co-operative sector contributes revenues of more than NZ $42.3 billion per annum. The country’s top 30 co-operatives have 1.4 million millions and employ 48, 500 people.

Lead researcher, Dr Elena Garnevska, said the study provides a much needed glimpse into a significant economic and social sector.

“With 1.4 million memberships the results show how much the co-operative economy is woven into the everyday lives of New Zealanders,” she said.

Key findings

Key findings from the report included:

  • Fonterra co-operative creates NZ $18.8 billion per annum in revenue
  • Foodstuffs North Island’s average revenue per annum is NZ $6.2 billion
  • Foodstuffs South island’s average revenue per annum is NZ $2.7 billion
  • Silver Fern Farm’s average revenue per annum is NZ $2.4 billion
  • Over 65 per cent of co-operative revenue funds in New Zealand come from agri-food
  • Fonterra has NZ $18.3 billion in assets
  • Foodstuffs North island has NZ$ 2.6 billion in assets

Cooperative Business New Zealand Chief Executive, Craig Presland, said the co-operative ethos of working together collaboratively is part of who New Zealanders are.

“We now have the opportunity to extend our research on co-operatives, and advocate even more strongly for them, so we ensure this enduring and sustainable business model is better understood and more widely utilised across New Zeeland business.


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