What's Agri-food Cooperatives Spain?
Introduction

Agri-food Cooperatives Spain is the organization that represents and defends the economic and social interests of the Spanish agricultural cooperative movement. It is composed by 16 Federations and Territorial Unions of Agricultural Cooperatives (FUTs) and Agrocantabria (Cantabrian 2nd degree cooperative), whose services and trade areas are based in their respective Autonomous Communities.

Thus, Agri-food Cooperatives Spain is the common body representing most cooperatives of every Autonomous Community of the Spanish territory and defends their interests towards the national Administration, the European Union and the rest of the sectors' social and economic agents in which the agricultural cooperatives develop their activities. The aim of this organization is the union of forces for the defense of farmers' and cattle breeders' interests. Moreover, training, information and advisory services are also offered through its offices in Madrid and Brussels, contributing to improve the agricultural cooperation's efficiency in achieving its economic, social and human goals.

Company mission

The mission of Agri-food Cooperatives Spain is the promotion, representing and structuring of Spanish agri-food cooperativism, promoting a business cooperative model that is professionalized, with a relevant dimension, value-generating and competitive, thus contributing to improving the profitability of its farmers member and to the sustainable development of the agri-food sector and rural areas.

Past and present

Shortly after the foundation of the Constitutional Monarchy in Spain the Freedom of Association Act was dictated. This law allowed voluntary participation of associations, finally grouped in two organizations at national scale: AECA and UCAE. On November 7th of 1989 these organizations merged and established the Spanish Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives (CCAE).

The CCAE creation implied, at that time, the achievement of the agricultural cooperative movement unity in the democratic phase after an adaptation process to the new political reality. Since then, it has succeeded in drawing up its own internal structure and, on the other hand, in getting recognition for its representativeness towards the National and EU Institutions, the agricultural organizations and the several associations and groupings of the agri-food sector.

At the beginning of 2009, CCAE changes its name and becomes to Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias (Agri-food Cooperatives Spain). The economic, social and entrepreneurial scenario has changed. The new name intends to emphasize, to a larger extent, the aspect of the integral and modern company adapted to the current markets needed nowadays by the cooperatives.

Agri-food Cooperatives Spain also takes responsibility for spreading, defending and stimulating the cooperativism as an entrepreneurial model which allows farmers and cattle-breeders to participate, to a larger extent, in the added value of their products and to give by extension more transparency and stability to the agricultural markets. At the same time, the cooperative formula helps to avoid the depopulation on the countryside, maintaining and creating employment in the areas where the cooperatives are established, contributing to the sustainability of the environment and to the rural development. In addition, cooperatives prove to be a very efficient instrument to control the traceability, quality and safety of the agricultural products all along the chain, from the country to the consumer.

Nowadays, Agri-food Cooperatives Spain represents 3,740 cooperatives being part of Federations and Unions in all the Autonomous Communities, with a total annual turnover of 29.0 million euros, according to data from the Socio-economic observatory of Spanish agri-food cooperatives (OSCAE 2017).