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5.9: Why is the Number of Agricultural Cooperatives Declining Worldwide?

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  • Much has been written about the declining number of cooperatives and membership in cooperatives, especially in agricultural cooperatives in the U.S. and Western Europe. However, when compared to the number of agricultural producers, data suggest that the number of producers has declined more rapidly than the number of cooperatives. Public data on cooperatives in the U.S. suggests that by far the most common reason for the decline in numbers is mergers or unifications between cooperatives, and this consolidation is expected to continue.