The report summarises the combined outcomes of two projects, which together considered the issue of changes in cooperative structures. It arose from a tour of agricultural cooperatives in the USA and Europe (part funded by Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the Dairy Research and Development Corporation) and a Cooperative Marketing Leadership Program (funded by RIRDC).
The report is timely because our major cooperatives are undergoing rapid change as they seek to prosper in an increasingly competitive business environment. Australia’s dairy cooperatives, some of which are among the biggest agricultural cooperatives in Australia, are under particularly strong pressure to adapt as a result of the recent deregulation of the dairy industry.
The purpose of the report is to identify and analyse the major issues currently affecting agricultural cooperatives in developed countries. Cooperatives visited on the tour are used as examples to illustrate those issues.