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Steady growth

The role of Brazilian cooperatives in the country’s economy

6 October 2010

There are 7,261 cooperatives active in 13 sectors of the Brazilian economy. In 2009, they exported a total of 3,6 billion dollars and had a turnover of 44,25 million dollars. The cooperative movement, which is nationally represented by the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB), has 8,252,410 members, 274,190 employees and generates 5,39% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Brazilian cooperatives closed the year 2009 continuing their maturity process initiallized some years ago.

This is made clear by the fact that there was an increase in the number of members (4.62%) as well as the number of jobs created (7.71%). However, in the same period of time the number of cooperatives decreased by 5.48%. This figures show the dynamic of cooperatives and their vision to seek alternatives and new opportunities in the post-crisis environment.

To mitigate dificullties and strengthen themselves, cooperatives opted for an agglutination process, which shows a trend towards professional management. This approach enabled them to gain new markets and scale. The reduction in the number of cooperatives mirrors this process, but also shows the consequences of the international financial crisis.

Regarding members growth, the participation of the credit sector, with an increase of 8.76%, should be highlighted. It represented a total of nearly 282,000 new cooperators. In terms of jobs generated within the sector, the highest percentages were found in Education (24.7%), Production (20.23%) and Health (18.2%).

In 2009, as a result of the global financial crisis, there was a slight reduction of 0.26 % in cooperatives net turnover, after 3 years of steady growth. Almost every economy sector rose in comparison to the previous year, except for Agriculture, which accounts for aproximately 80% of the global value of cooperatives. By the end of 2009, this sector’s exports had fallen by 9.5% owing to raw material prices. However, in comparison to the Brazilian market, the cooperative sector’s performance was better since the country had a retraction of 22.71%.

Brazilian cooperatives in numbers

7,261 cooperatives
8,252,410 members
274, 190 employees
Exports: US$ 3,6 billion
Turnover: US$ 44,25 million
GDP: 5.39%

The Brazilian cooperative movement

OCB was founded in 1969 in the Fourth Brazilian Cooperatives Congress in the city of Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais.

The Law 5.764 of 1971 is the legal framework which regulates the cooperative system in Brazil.

OCB is the organization which represents Brazilian cooperative as it is established in the article 105 of the Law 5.764/71.

In 1998 the Sescoop was created (National Service of Cooperative Learning)

2009 – Credit Cooperatives Law – Cooperative Credit National System

You can see the full information concerning Brazilian cooperatives in 2009 here.

Source: OCB