The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Cooperatives Responsible for 3% of GDP in New Zealand

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Scoop Business Independent News reports on the contributions cooperatives make to New Zealand’s economy:

Showing a combined annual revenue of $41,129,034,964 for the year 2011-12, the Top 40 cooperatives in New Zealand ranged from Fonterra Cooperative Group and Foodstuffs at the top through Southern Cross Healthcare Society and Mitre10 to Ashburton Trading Society, the Dairy Goat Cooperative and World Travellers, with the NZ Honey Producers Cooperative coming in at #40.
“I think it is important that New Zealanders sit up and take notice of cooperatives; they help drive the economy, respond to social change and create jobs in a variety of sectors. While they may often be low profile, they are significant economic actors,” said Minister Foss.
“And indeed, when we speak about market-place competition our minds again will be prejudiced towards a larger more successful firm reaping benefits at the expense of smaller less successful ones. The cooperative model challenges both those assumptions because as you all know to be competitive, by definition, cooperatives have to be collaborative,” said Minister Foss.
The same day, Jonathan Lee, Chief Operating Office of the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions, was elected as Chair of Cooperative Business New Zealand, the industry body representing the country’s cooperatives and mutuals.
“In 2012, New Zealand’s 40 largest cooperatives and mutuals accounted for annual revenue of more than $41 billion, were responsible for 3% of GDP and employed over 43,000 people” said Mr. Lee.
 “This significant but often below the radar contribution cooperatives make to a strong and sustainable economy is notable, and we are pleased it has been recognised by both the New Zealand Government and the United Nations internationally when they recognised the sector with the 2012 UN International Year of Cooperatives (IYC).”

Author: Daniela

I will forever be grateful that I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products early in life - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in her cool stone kitchen. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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