Agricultural Cooperatives in the Netherlands: key success factors

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


The paper argues that the ongoing success of agricultural cooperatives in the Netherlands can be explained by the combination of five factors. First, the Netherlands has an enabling cooperative legislation. Second, cooperatives in the Netherlands have been able to maintain effective member control through innovations in internal governance. Third, membership heterogeneity has been kept low, despite growth and internationalization of agricultural cooperatives. Fourth, Dutch cooperatives have been pragmatic in establishing and dismantling federative cooperative structures. Fifth, cooperatives have chosen explicit strategies as to their position in the food chain. This paper is based on a review of academic and professional literature. The insights from the experiences of Dutch agricultural cooperatives may inspire cooperative leaders in other countries and sectors to seek similar enabling conditions and pursue similar strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Summit of Cooperatives: Cooperatives: the power to act - Quebec
Duration: 11 Oct 201613 Oct 2016


ConferenceInternational Summit of Cooperatives
Internet address

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    Bijman, J. (2016). Agricultural Cooperatives in the Netherlands: key success factors. Paper presented at International Summit of Cooperatives, .