Chapter 13: Measuring and communicating the true value of membership: the case of the Pindos Poultry Co-operative
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In the context of the European co-operative movement, Greece is remarkable in that no other European country has so many agricultural co-operatives that produce so little value for their farmer-members. In 1997, turnover per agricultural co-operative (in billion ECU/co-operative) was 0.0001 for Greece; 0.0188 for Denmark; 0.0892 for the Netherlands; 0.1648 for Sweden; 0.0014 for Spain and Portugal; and 0.0145 for France (van Bekkum and van Dijk, 1997; own calculations). Continuous, efficiency-robbing government interventions into co-operatives' affairs and the opportunistic behaviour of some co-operative leaders explain a large part of this paradox (Iliopoulos and Valentinov, 2012). Among Greek agricultural co-operatives that handle major food products, only one stands out as the outlier in this trend: the Pindos Poultry Cooperative (PPC). The co-operative has managed over the years to avoid the pitfalls emanating from government intervention and leadership opportunism and deliver significant value to its member-growers consistently. The co-operative's success is manifested in the very high market share it commands in the national poultry industry but also in numerous economic, social and other benefits that members enjoy. How did it do this? This chapter addresses this question by showing how the PPC has managed to capture and distribute significant value to its members.

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