Transnationalization of Agricultural Cooperatives in Europe

J. Bijman, P. Pyykkönen, P. Ollila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Agricultural cooperatives in Europe are increasingly expanding beyond their home countries. A number of these cooperatives have become transnational cooperatives, which means that they have members in more than one country. Examples can be found particularly in the dairy and fruit and vegetables industry. This article presents an overview of the recent internationalization and transnationalization processes among agricultural cooperatives in Europe and is the first academic publication that provides empirical data on cross-border membership. The article discusses the pros and cons of having members in several countries, as well as the different trajectories along which cooperatives may become transnational. Transnationalization entails substantial challenges for the member-cooperative relationship due to differences in culture, language, legislation and business practices. The professional management usually prefers an internationalization strategy above a transnationalization strategy. While further internationalization of agricultural cooperatives is expected, foreign membership will continue to be a major challenge for boards of directors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-178
JournalThe Dovenschmidt Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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