Agricultural co-operatives are the focus of World Food Day 2012.
The success of agricultural co-operatives here supports the contention that they are the key to feeding the world.
One reason for their success is that suppliers are shareholders.
This gives them a much stronger position than farmers who supply companies they don’t own who are then far more likely to be squeezed by processors and retailers.
Contrast returns to dairy farmers here, most of whom supply to co-operatives in which they own shares, with those in Australia where farmers have been the losers in supermarket wars which drove down the price of milk.
Farmers here don’t just benefit from being part of co-operatives which process their produce. Ballance and Ravensdown which between them supply most of our fertiliser are co-operatives and so is the specialist agribusiness bank, Rabobank.