SPANISH CITRUS COOPERATIVES: KEYS TO SUCCESS AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE
Cooperatives are one of the most significant elements in the production and marketing of food products in Spain, as in other European countries. Not surprisingly, according to data from 2011, in Spain there are currently 3,918 agricultural cooperatives that bring together 1,160,337 members and provide 93,733 direct jobs with total revenue of 17,405 million. Their role in the food value chain is indisputable and they have come to control most of the market share in many products such as tobacco industry (100%), grape must (80%), olive oil (75%), wine (70%), rice production (60%) and a 45% in citrus, milk and nuts. To a lesser extent they are present in the production of table olives, fruits, sheep and goat meat, cereals, oilseeds and cotton in which they account for 35%. Additionally, cooperatives have emerged as the driving forces of the territory, allowing the adoption of technology, leading the internationalization and developing important management tasks. In recent decades, their role has been intensified by globalization, ongoing regulatory requirements and the need for diversification that has emerged in rural settings in order to keep the population. This paper develops a study of agrifood cooperatives in Spain and more specifically of citrus ones. Structural problems of holdings (small holdings in certain crops) have marked the need to group farmers in order to concentrate supply, internationalize, concentrate financial resources to promote joint R&D+i and ultimately to improve profitability. The strengths of these kinds of companies responsible for the preponderant place that these entities have achieved in the sector have been identified. Moreover, the challenges that cooperatives are facing to ensure continuity in the current economic context are also discussed.
Elena Meliá Martí, , Ricardo J. Server Izquierdo , and Natalia Lajara-Camilleri, (2015). SPANISH CITRUS COOPERATIVES: KEYS TO SUCCESS AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE. Acta Hortic. 1065, 1871-1876
cooperatives, competitiveness, internationalization, agrifood, size